Parson meets with St. Louis clergy and city leaders amid gun violence concerns

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ST. LOUIS – More gun violence in St. Louis this afternoon, as a woman is shot and critically hurt in north city. This comes after a high-stakes meeting this morning focusing on gun violence in the city, especially with the number of children who have been killed.

Police got the call about 1:45 p.m. for the shooting at Thrush and West Florissant. Investigators say a woman about 45 to 55 years old was found shot multiple times in an alley near her home. She was rushed to a hospital in critical condition.

Just hours earlier, Governor Mike Parson met with St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson and religious leaders from around the state.

The topic: violence in the city of St. Louis, with a focus on the number of murdered children. So far this year, 14 children 17 years old or younger have been killed in the city.

Governor Parson met separately with Mayor Krewson and clergy.

Those involved called the meetings productive. However, religious leaders want more from the governor on gun control.

“We asked the governor to be a champion for our community around the issue of common-sense gun laws. We didn’t get a commitment from the governor today to be that champion,” said Reverend Darryl Gray, who helped organize the clergy for the meeting.

“I think it’s a matter of how do you starting putting things into effect,” the governor said “I mean, I’m talking about short-term goals, what can we come to that table that we can agree on? Not as much the things we disagree on but what can we agree on and how do we put them in effect?”

Several potential ideas did come from the meeting.

Those include possibly bringing back state troopers to work the I-70 corridor so police can focus on other issues, trying to get state funding for more high definition cameras in city neighborhoods, attempting to secure state funding for safe spaces, utilizing churches for after-school programs and drop-in centers, and trying to get state funding for workforce development and job training programs.

Clergy and staff from the governor’s office are set to meet again next week. Religious leaders are set to meet again directly with Governor Parson in a month.

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