Double Murder in Midtown part of violent crime spike in St. Louis

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ST. LOUIS – Two young men shot and killed at a busy St. Louis intersection have been identified.  21-year-old Omar Harris and 20-year old Arie Bagsby were shot multiple times at the intersection of Lindell and Grand Monday evening.

“These boys did not deserve to be gunned down in the middle of the street like they were dogs,” said Anthony Harris, father of Omar Harris.  “They were ambushed and executed out here.”

Harris said the young men were friends and believe their murders were a case of mistaken identity.  Anyone with information is encouraged to call CrimeStopper at 866-371-TIPS.  St. Louis Metropolitan Police Chief John Hayden reports seeing a noticeable increase in violent crime following June 1st.

“There seems to be a whole lot more shorter fuses than usual,” said Hayden.

Former Missouri Governor Eric Greitens was having dinner with a friend near the scene of Monday’s murders.  The two ran to help the victims.

“My buddy started CPR immediately on the first victim,” said Greitens.

The former governor said he performed a tourniquet on the other victim.  Greitens said the first responders tasked with responding to calls involving violence deserve better leadership in St. Louis.

“What is so disturbing is this is what you would expect in Iraq and Afghanistan,” said Greitens. “You expect automatic, semi-automatic gunfire going off at night.”

The Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis is one agency trying to address crime by addressing poverty.  The agency is in the process of organizing neighborhood blocks in a way to funnel resources to those in need.

“The issues are deeply rooted and we’ve got to go into the neighborhood, go to the front porch and into the living rooms,” said James Clark, Urban League of St. Louis vice president. “That’s where we’ll find the solutions.”

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