ST. LOUIS – St. Louis Metropolitan Police said a 4-year-old shot in the head during what appeared to be random 4th of July gunfire is in grave condition. Police had called the shooting a homicide Monday afternoon but issued a correction a few hours later saying the child had not succumbed to his injuries.
The shooting was reported from the 4200 block of Page in the Vandeventer Neighborhood. Police responded Saturday at 10 p.m. They have not reported any arrests in the case.
During Monday’s COVID-19 briefing Mayor Lyda Krewson said the tragic shooting was part of a weekend of violence involving 17 shootings and 7 deaths. She called the violence a public health crisis.
Krewson called on residents to be more involved in diffusing violence. She said Cure Violence is a program that recently launched. The program involves those familiar with high-crime areas being tapped to help de-escalate violence. She said Cops and Clinicians, a program involved with social workers responding with police to some emergencies will soon begin. The mayor also said the police force is short more than 100 officers.
Gerald Hill once lived in the neighborhood where the child was shot. He was visiting acquaintances in the area Monday night and believes more positive role models are needed in high crime neighborhoods.
“Put your guns down and put your hands up and shake a hand or help a person,” said Hill. “It’s just a messed-up situation right now.”