Gun Violence | St. Louis Public Radio

Gun Violence

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. 

The 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: 

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - On Friday, Nov. 1, one Paul Ciancia walked into Terminal 3 of Los Angeles International Airport. According to the Associated Press, the 23-year-old unemployed motorcycle mechanic carried a duffel bag containing a fully loaded AR-15 rifle, five additional 30-round magazines and hundreds of rounds of spare ammo in 20-round boxes. How he planned to find time to reload his magazines with the extra ammunition is anybody’s guess.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The Dog Days of Summer draw to a close. The Romans so named this time of year because of the celestial ascendancy of Sirius, the brightest star of the constellation Canis Major — the “Large Dog” in the night sky.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: A minister and a civil rights group are credited with pulling together what’s being described as the first city-county effort to focus on addressing crime, building trust and reducing conflict among young people, and improving the quality of life in underserved communities.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: In her weekly letter, Editor Margaret Freivogel said that the Beacon will be reporting in depth on gun violence in the St. Louis area in coming weeks. The problem is certainly topical and worthy of thoughtful commentary. Unfortunately, I fear that as presently formulated, it is also too broadly defined to lend itself to productive analysis.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Dear Beaconites --

In the long-running debate over gun rights and gun control, both sides use statistics as -- well -- ammunition. The latest volley came this week from the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank that evaluated states on several measures, including the rate of gun deaths and the strength of gun control laws. As Beacon Washington correspondent Rob Koenig reported, the study ranks Missouri 8th worst overall; Illinois came in 36th.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: WASHINGTON – Missouri ranks among the worst 10 states with “the highest levels of gun violence” in recent years while its gun-control laws are relatively lax, a new study of gun violence indicators says.

The report by the liberal Center for American Progress think tank found a rough correlation between high levels of gun violence and weak state gun laws. But gun rights and libertarian groups criticized the report’s methodology as biased.

Pages