ST. LOUIS — An innocent bystander was killed in a shooting in front of a north St. Louis gas station late Sunday night. Friends and family are mourning the victim as community leaders call for an end to the violence.

Police identified the victim Tuesday as Shree Hemphill, 34, of St. Ann. Investigators said the incident started with a crash around 11:50 p.m. on Dr. Martin Luther King Drive and North Kingshighway Boulevard. 

After the wreck, the people involved started shooting at each other. When St. Louis Metropolitan police arrived at the scene, the officers were also shot at by the suspects who then tried to run them over before fleeing the scene.

Hemphill was found shot in a gas station parking lot just west of the intersection. Police said the woman was shot when the suspects were firing at officers. 

The victim’s friend, France Owens, said she leaves behind two children.

“A lovely young lady,” said Owens. “It’s a sad way for her to get killed…I’m heartbroken.”

Loved ones created a memorial filled with balloons to honor the 34-year-old. Community leaders like James Clark, who has been on the front lines of the crime fight for years, said he’s saddened but not surprised by tragic violence like this.

“She is a victim of our collective negligence,” said Clark, the vice president of public safety for the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis. “We tolerate this behavior. We have got to come to grips with the fact that as African Americans, we’ve got to look internally. We can’t continue to witness our own demise and just sit back. We’ve got to be active.”

Police have not yet released the name of the victim. No officers were injured in this incident. Anyone with information is encouraged to call CrimeStoppers at 866-371-TIPS (8477).