ST. LOUIS – A University City High School graduate was shot and killed in south St. Louis Wednesday.

St. Louis City police identified the victim as 19-year-old Demario Smith. Police said he was shot multiple times around 5:30 p.m. Wednesday and died at the scene.

Crime scene detectives were back on the scene Thursday in the 2900 block of California in south St. Louis. The tragedy happened just about a block away from his home.

Police said when officers arrived they found Smith’s body on the ground in an alley next to a vehicle with multiple bullet holes wounds. According to Smith’s mother, her son graduated in 2021 with honors from University City High School.

His family said he transitioned home from his freshman year at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia.

Residents, where the tragedy all unfolded, are heartbroken.

“My grandma has been living here for a long time 15 years,” said Emerald Davidson. “She never heard no one getting killed behind her residence. It’s devastating and it’s time for her to move.”

“I went into my apartment complex, and I seen them trying to CPR him,” said Sara Lewis. “I was watching from my window. Sad, I want to cry, he was 19 going to college. He had his whole life ahead of him.”

Another neighbor said the tragedy of the victim, ‘could have been their son.’

It’s sad, I know he had a family, it could have been my son,” said Angela Marble. “We need to tell whoever did it and they need to come forth.”

Authorities encourage you to contact Crimestoppers at 866-371-TIPS if you have any information.