gun violence

St. Louis International Film Festival

Nick Berardini was just a journalism student at the University of Missouri when he was sent out on an assignment that would impact his life and his career as a filmmaker. He was sent to Moberly, Missouri to report on a man who died while in police custody after being pulled over for drunk driving.

St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson said stolen guns are part of what's causing an uptick in crime in the city.
St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department Facebook

St. Louis is a step closer to accepting a grant from the federal government to help battle gun violence in the city.

The Board of Aldermen's public employees committee on Thursday authorized the city to accept a $417,512 SMART Prosecution grant from the Bureau of Justice Assistance, part of the Justice Department. The full Board of Aldermen must also approve the grant.

Almost all of the city's murders in 2015 involved guns.
(via Flickr/alancleaver_2000)

St. Louis police confirmed the city's 160th homicide earlier this week, a number that surpasses last year's murder total. 

Mayor Francis Slay, St. Louis
Jim Howard / St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis is not alone in confronting an increase in violent crime, but what little comfort that may provide city officials is tempered by the fact that there are relatively few resources readily available to help cities across the U.S. confront their own rise in gun and drug related violence.

Mayors from 20 cities along with chiefs of police, an array of federal law enforcement officials, and academics met in Washington on Wednesday for a Department of Justice sponsored summit on violent crime.  St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay and Police Chief Samuel Dotson, both attended the day-long session to share ideas, concerns and to make appeals to federal officials for assistance.

Erica Jones, right, and Theodis Rush, left, listen to a press conference to announce more money for an anti-gun-violence program run out of Better Family Life. Jones’s 24-year-old daughter, Whitney Brown, was killed in a drive-by shooting in August.
Nassim Benchaabane|St. Louis Public Radio

On Monday morning, St. Louis detectives began work on the city’s 145th homicide case since January. The body of a 25-year-old man was found in a car with multiple gunshot wounds in the Mark Twain neighborhood, an area less than two miles square that has already experienced six murders in the past nine months. 

St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson said stolen guns are part of what's causing an uptick in crime in the city.
Courtesy of St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department Facebook

As of August, homicides in St. Louis are up 60 percent compared with last year, according to recently released statistics from the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department. 

Rev. Ken McKoy of the Progressive A.M.E Zion Church organizes NightLIFE walks three times a week in two north St. Louis neighborhoods.
Durrie Bouscaren | St. Louis Public Radio

Three nights a week, between the hours of 10 p.m. and 2 a.m., half a dozen St. Louis clergy members walk the streets in a line.

Led by Rev. Ken McKoy of the Progressive A.M.E Zion Church, they visit the Fountain Park and Lewis Place neighborhoods to act as a “ministry of presence,” as McKoy calls it. It’s a violence prevention effort that began on a grassroots level and is now on the cusp of expanding. McKoy calls it NightLIFE.

Jamyla Bolden's photo for a GoFundMe site created to pay her funeral costs. A private donor later stepped forward to pay the full costs.
Cropped | Provided by the Bolden family

Over the weekend, the family of Jamyla Bolden buried their daughter — a bubbly fourth grader who loved to sing, dance and spend time with her friends.

Interim Ferguson Police Chief Andre Anderson announces the arrest of De'Eris Brown for the shooting death of nine-year-old Jamyla Bolden Thursday Aug. 27, 2015 at the Ferguson Police Department.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

An O'Fallon, Mo., man is facing six felony counts including murder in the second degree in last week's shooting in Ferguson that killed 9-year-old Jamyla Bolden and wounded her mother.

Police said Thursday De'Eris Brown, 21, confessed to shooting into Bolden’s home. Brown is being held on a $750,000 cash-only bond. Court records show Brown previously pleaded guilty to felony robbery.

Susannah Lohr | St. Louis Public Radio

With more than a hundred homicides already this year, St. Louis is no stranger to gun violence. On July 14, a St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department sergeant was ambushed while working a second, security job in the early hours of the morning. The officer survived thanks to a bulletproof vest, and four suspects have been arrested in connection with the shooting.  

We independently confirmed the identity of the officer with the St. Louis Police, but have granted him anonymity out of his concern for the safety of his family in order to hear his perspective on the situation.

Rick Rosenfeld and Sam Dotson
Alex Heuer

This week’s shooting of a police officer in the Central West End underscores the fact that crime continues to be a big problem in the area.

As of July 14, St. Louis City’s homicide rate is on pace to exceed the number of homicides in 2014.

(via Flickr/steakpinball)

The U.S. Supreme Court recently passed monumental decisions on same-sex marriage and upheld a high-profile challenge to the Affordable Care Act.

(via Flickr/M Glasgow)

A panel of community organizers, anti-violence experts and Washington University professors are seeking solutions to reduce the number of shooting deaths by identifying gun violence as a public health crisis.

Gun violence hits the St. Louis region in a profound way. Here are just a few of the numbers: