St. Louis neighborhoods warn against celebratory gunfire on New Year’s Eve

Missouri

ST. LOUIS — Several St. Louis neighborhoods have joined an effort to reduce celebratory gunfire on New Year’s Eve.

It’s been an issue for years, with people shooting bullets into the air to ring in the holiday. But some residents are stepping up to do something about it.  

Residents in several neighborhoods have been putting up small flyers on doors that have information on who to call and what to do if you hear gunshots. 

“It’s really scary to live in the city with your kids and your family and have people shooting guns in the air,” said David Aubrey, who lives in the Shaw neighborhood. “We made sure to get a flyer in every door in Shaw to reduce gun violence,” Aubrey explained. 

Aubrey is also the president of the Shaw Neighborhood Ownership Model (NOM). He says NOM has delivered flyers since 2019. It was a response to when shots rang out on New Year’s Eve in 2018 for several minutes, ending in a bullet flying into someone’s home. 

“When you hear gunshots in your neighborhood it takes the joy out of it,” said Erica Westbrooks, safety chair of the Tower Grove Heights Neighborhood Association.

Westbrook and fellow volunteer Kim McGrath gave up their whole week to go door to door delivering flyers. 

“Residents who are concerned got involved. So, we’re just really excited this year to have so many other neighborhoods joining in the effort,” said McGrath. 

This is the first year other neighborhoods have delivered flyers — including Tower Grove East, Tower Grove Heights, Forest Park Southeast, and Botanical Heights neighborhoods. 

Forest Park resident, Dan Doelling, hopes it makes a difference. 

“It’s good to see people and their neighbors face-to-face, and it’s good to know that they know we’re all taking an active role,” Doelling added. 

As city police prepare for New Year’s Eve, the department will have extra officers on patrol to respond to investigate calls for shots fired as part of its Fun Without Guns detail. 

Also, the rideshare service, Lyft, said it will provide 10,000 free rides from 2 p.m. on Dec. 31 through 2 a.m. on Jan. 1.

To access the ride credit ($25) for a safe ride home, partygoers can enter the code MBSAFENYE on the Lyft app. The credit is redeemable to customers throughout the state in St. Louis, Kansas City, Columbia, and Springfield. A link to download the app can be found at Lyft.com. Quantities are limited.

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