ST. LOUIS – Two teenagers died overnight Sunday in a quadruple shooting in the Hyde Park neighborhood of north St. Louis City.
According to a spokesperson for the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, the shooting occurred just after 1:50 a.m. in the 2100 block of Branch Street.
Officers found one victim, an 18-year-old female, in the 1900 block of Agnes Street. A second victim, a 17-year-old female, was located inside a residence in the 2000 block of Agnes.
A third victim was located lying on the ground in the 2100 block of Branch and pronounced dead at the scene. She was 18. The fourth and final victim, another 18-year-old female, was found dead in the 2000 block of Branch.
The first two victims were taken to a local hospital and are said to be in critical condition.
“We should not be surprised that they are getting younger and younger,” said James Clark, Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis. He said teen violence is a regional issue and gun crimes are part of a bigger issue.
“We’re not surprised by what is to come unless we get our ducks in a row, and we give this the heightened attention that it demands right now,” he said. “If not for this generation, for future generations. Cause there is no stop gap. This surge continues.”
This is the second shooting in the Hyde Park neighborhood, and at least the fourth multi-victim shooting in the city, over the weekend.
One man was fatally wounded and another injured in a shooting Saturday evening in the 1500 block of Destrehan Street. Earlier that evening, two people were shot on Cherokee Street as the popular Cinco de Mayo festival was wrapping up for the day. Just before midnight on Friday, two people were killed and two others wounded in a shooting at Exotic Bar and Grill, located in the heart of Cherokee Street.
St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones issued a statement late Sunday afternoon, saying police are investigating the crimes, and recommitted to violence prevention campaigns and continued efforts to keep guns out of the hands of violent individuals.
“What should have been a joyous, warm weekend for our city has instead been difficult. We are seeing interpersonal conflicts escalate, made deadly when paired with the flood of firearms on our streets. Gun violence harms neighborhoods and families across St. Louis, and I’m keeping especially close in my prayers the youth St. Louis lost last night,” the mayor said.
“SLMPD is reviewing and investigating this weekend’s incidents, and we will continue to work alongside our community violence intervention partners to address conflicts before they erupt. The City of St. Louis will continue to use every tool available to us to make our communities safer, but our families urgently need action with gun safety laws at the state and federal levels.”
Clark said Mayor Jones is working with organizations like the Urban League on youth programs. He said getting involved in the programs is the key to preventing more teen violence.
“We’re in a state of emergency, whether we acknowledge it or not. Join the Federation of Block Units, join a neighborhood association,” he said. “Those are the kinds of developments that we need to have happened in our neighborhoods right now.”
Anyone with information on any of the aforementioned shootings is asked to contact the police department’s Homicide Division at 314-444-5371. Tipsters who wish to remain anonymous or be eligible for a cash reward can call CrimeStoppers at 866-371-TIPS.