ST. LOUIS – Les Sterman, the chair of the Citizens for a Greater St. Louis, has lived in downtown for nearly 20 years. He tells FOX 2, he thinks about moving out, “every day.”
“It’s a great place to live under normal circumstances,” he said.
Unfortunately, the last two weeks in downtown have been anything but normal. Two people have died, and two others are hurt from recent downtown shootings.
Last week, a man was gunned down and killed at Kiener Plaza. Just two days ago, a woman was killed in the Marriott’s downtown parking garage and less than 24 hours later, two more people were shot inside the garage.
The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department has arrested a man they believe is responsible for both shootings.
Sterman said he hasn’t had any close calls but said he’s “always afraid of getting in the crossfire.” About four years ago Sterman and his downtown neighbors helped create Citizens for a Greater St. Louis, an organization that tries to bring a safer environment to the area.
“There’s lots of police here when there were big events, but all those other times, there is very little police presence,” Sterman said.
Amaris Nance has lived in the area for less than a month and has experienced just about everything.
“In a matter of three weeks there was a homeless man found in my building, my car got vandalized because I forgot to lock it, the shooting [and] literally being harassed by a homeless man. It’s a lot,” she said.
Nance has worked in downtown for nearly five years, but this is the first time she’s experienced the city as a resident.
“I’m trying to get adapted to it cause I am St. Louis girl, but working and living in downtown is totally two different opposites,” Nance said.
Sterman added that it’s not only the police, but also the community to get involved and offer solutions, saying that voting can be a game changer. He says, when you share your vote elected officials, people “have no choice but to listen.”