ST. LOUIS – A shootout in Soulard is sparking new concerns about crime in the neighborhood, with longtime business owners worried about the threat to safety and calling on police and the city to do more.
According to the police, two gunmen on Ann Avenue fired bullets that struck about 10 cars.
Police said although person and property crime is trending downward when compared to this time last year, many residents and business owners said gunfire and break-ins are rampant. On 9th Avenue, the owner of Hair Fetish Salon, Jeff Bunyard, said he has also seen the ebbs and flows.
“Pretty much every night, you can hear gunfire off in the distance,” Bunyard said.
However, he said he’s optimistic that more will be done to help.
“I think more of a police presence would be good for one, and maybe some more lighting,” Bunyard said. “There are some really dark areas of Soulard.”
Nearby at the 1860 Saloon, the owner said they try to stay ahead of crime but would like to see more patrol and officers on the street.
“We have someone on our parking lot during busy times to make sure that the cars are safe,” said Tom Gullickson, owner of 1860 Saloon, Game Room & Hardshell Café. “We walk all of our staff to their cars at the end of the night… But it’s being aware of your surroundings.”
“It upsets me that people are coming to our neighborhood or in our neighborhood and ruining the neighborhood that we have and impacting the neighborhood,” Gullickson said. “And that’s not right because it’s such a great neighborhood.”
A spokesperson from the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department said the following statement:
“The 3rd district regularly meets with Soulard residents at community meetings to address any issues that arise in the neighborhood. Currently, plans are being made to add extra patrol measures, which will include assistance from our specialized units.”
At this time, there are no suspects in Friday’s shootout.
SLMPD encouraged anyone with information to reach out to them or CrimeStoppers at 866-371-TIPS (8477), where you can remain anonymous.