City leaders worry over ‘lost summer’ of violence

Missouri

ST. LOUIS – Three women, ages 16 to 37, were shot at the iconic Citygarden sculpture park in Downtown St. Louis Wednesday night.

They’re expected to survive another wave of violence that’s left 5 women shot, two of them killed, in an eight-hour span in St. Louis.

City officials are becoming more and more alarmed at the level of violence thus far this year.

Police report 118 homicides in the City of St. Louis in 2020, compared to 95 this time last year. The City of St. Louis is on pace for more than 225 homicides by the end 2020.

That would be the highest total in more than 25 years.

A surge of gun violence has gripped St. Louis since July 4.

Baseball players, coaches, and umpires hit the ground on a ball diamond at St. Mary’s High School on that day after the sound of gunfire pierced the air. A man was shot to death nearby. A suspect was arrested.

On Wednesday night around 10:30 p.m., two men emerged from the bushes at Citygarden and shot the three women, police said. Those suspects remain at large.

Two hours earlier, a woman was shot to death in front of children at a store near Kingshighway and Page in north St. Louis, police said. A suspect in that case is in custody.

Around 2 a.m. Thursday morning, a woman crashed into a parked vehicle on Goodfellow in north city after being shot, police said. She was pronounced dead. Her killer remains at large.

Both Mayor Lyda Krewson and Aldermanic President Lewis Reed said they were hopeful the new Cure Violence would help an understaffed police department stretched with the ongoing protests along with the surge in gun violence.

“Cure Violence provides funding to empower nonprofits to help attack root causes at various societal levels,” Reed said.

He decried long delays in implementation, which essentially made this what he called a “lost summer” of violence.

The city funded three Cure Violence sites across the city with $5 million over 3 years last fall but only one has recently begun operation.

“It’s past time to get the other two going,” Reed said.

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