ST. LOUIS – St. Louis police said carjackings have become increasingly more violent in the city, with 33 reported in August and 14 carjackings reported in the month of September so far.
Just after midnight on Tuesday morning, police said a suspect shot a 59-year-old man in the neck while he was sitting in his 2017 Jeep Cherokee while parked at the Versailles Condominiums along Skinker, across the street from Forest Park.
Police said the victim got out of the Jeep and walked to the doorman inside the building for help. The doorman told one resident that the victim came to him bleeding with a note.
“This man asked our doorman to call his wife,” said Barbara O’Neill. “He wrote down her telephone number and so he called wife and said, you know, that he was going to the hospital.”
Moments after the shooting, some curious residents and their visitors stepped out, stunned that a shooting happened in this area of the city.
“It makes me feel kind of remorseful,” said Christopher Seibert, who was visiting a friend at the time.
The condo manager said the victim is an artist who just moved in about two months ago. She's heartbroken this happened to such a kind person and family.
“I care very deeply for all of my residents and this hit me in the heart,” she said. “I’m just devastated that this could happen to such nice people. Their family must be going through an awful lot right now.”
According to police, there have been several arrests relative to carjackings in the last couple of weeks. Chief John Hayden is still urging that people follow these safety tips in an effort to minimize these incidents:
- Do not attempt to disarm an assailant.
- Avoid loading/unloading your vehicle in poorly lit areas.
- Be aware of your surroundings, especially when parked for extended periods of time.
- While we understand that these are traumatic experiences, try to be as observant as possible so you can provide officers with descriptions, plate information, etc.
- Contact police immediately after the incident.
Anyone with information is urged to call CrimeStoppers at 866-371-TIPS (8477).
In August 2017, a carjacking taskforce was created to address this regional problem. The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department has been working with local and federal agencies to share information to combat this issue, and they continue to meet regularly.