Videos show chaos on Washington Avenue as mayor takes steps to curb violence

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ST. LOUIS – One day after Sierra Ward, 17, of DeSoto, was killed in a high-speed crash in the heart of Downtown St. Louis, Fox 2 has obtained videos showing continued brazen behavior downtown, including reckless driving and a lot of gunfire.

Videos from late night and overnight show issues across downtown.  

One video, taken from a new loft at One Cardinal Way in Ballpark Village, shows wild driving and gunfire in a parking lot across from Busch Stadium and along South Broadway next to the ballpark.  

You can hear about 2 dozen gunshots, rapid-fire; a car speeds the wrong day down Broadway; about a dozen more shots follow.  

Videos also show an ATV driver speeding in between cars through traffic on Washington Avenue; drivers speeding and burning rubber in the street; a fight outside of a bar, spilling into the street.    

Residents and business owners had been reporting it all to police and city leaders since March, they said.

They started sharing the videos after Ward was killed when a 25-year-old was speeding, ran a red light, and crashed into the pickup truck in which Ward was a passenger, according to St. Louis Police.  

A downtown resident, who did not want to be identified, told Fox 2 he had moved downtown with his wife and two children from California.

They’re heartbroken by what’s been going on with no response from police or city leaders until Ward’s death. 

“We’re being terrorized every night…shots fired into dwellings, up in the air, or at people, are being done right in front of police,” the resident said.  “There’s no regard for anything anymore.  It’s a full-on ‘free for all’.  You walk the streets in the morning, and you find shells…casings.”   

“The downtown neighborhood is still a very solid, safe, neighborhood,” said Brad Waldrop, a former downtown resident who still works downtown in commercial real estate.  “After about 10 o’clock at night, specifically on the weekend, we’re seeing so much chaos with little police activity that people want to leave downtown.  They want to move out of downtown.  They don’t want to be part of it anymore.”

He’s part of a downtown safety committee.  He’s begun sharing videos of the dangerous behavior on social media.  

Residents and business owners are calling for more police patrols, increased towing of cars, even curfews. 

The idea of curfews had merit and was being discussed, Mayor Lyda Krewson said.  

She announced overnight street and parking lot closures will begin this week.  

A spokeswoman for Circuit Attorney, Kim Gardner, told Fox 2 she was awaiting the completion of the police investigation into the crash the killed Ward before deciding whether to issue charges in the case.  

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