South City Neighbors Band Together After Rise In Violence

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SOUTH ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)-Gunfire in a south St. Louis neighborhood.  Hours after the shots were fired, neighbors came together to take a stand. Residents of Tower Grove East came together for a pancake breakfast at August Gate Church on Saturday morning. The recent surge in neighborhood gunfire sparked the meeting.

Reports of shots fire in the nearby 2300 and 2500 blocks of Magnolia, led to a police pursuit that ended in this crash on Grand that killed three in September. Last weekend, there was a deadly shooting in the back yard of a building in the 3100 block Minnesota during an apparent drug deal. And there was another shooting in the 3000 block of Magnolia this weekend, just two blocks from the church. No one was seriously injured.

Noah Oldham, pastor of August Gate church says, “St. Louis, we know is a dangerous city, it meets all those big criteria.  It’s in all the polls and websites.   When it comes to your back door, when it`s happening in your back yard, when it`s happening on your street, there’s gunshots, people begin to desire to band together.”

This meeting is a start. Neighbors were meeting each other, finding out about neighborhood watch and block captain programs.

“They’re able to, when situations arise, able to be there, they’re looking out for one another,” says Oldham.  “It`s almost cutting things off before they happen.”

Resident Ali Schmidt added, “It shows that the people who are here want to stay here and the crime isn’t going to chase us away.”

Police say the shooting on Magnolia happened just after midnight Saturday during a dispute over a stolen cell-phone.  The victim is recovering and a suspect is in custody.  Last weekend's murder n the 3100 block of Minnesota has not been  solved.

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