Shelia Price marches against violence with her grandchildren Saturday, March 19, 2016 in north St. Louis. She lost her son to a gun shot 20 years ago.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

Last year, black-and-white "We Must Stop Killing Each Other" signs began popping up in yards across St. Louis.

The organization behind the signs, Better Family Life, had just received $55,000 from the city of St. Louis to continue its efforts to reduce violence in targeted city neighborhoods.

Marcis Curtis, an artist and co-founder of Citizen Carpentry, organizes sticky notes during a brainstorming session at the Community Reaction Lab.
Durrie Bouscaren | St. Louis Public Radio

Two groups of St. Louisans took on a challenge this weekend that many in the region have spent years trying to address: Find a way to reduce gun violence in the community.

And there was a catch. The groups had just 24 hours to create a proposal.

Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Today, St. Louis Public Radio released its series on homicide in the city of St. Louis after months of preparation. The series takes a look at homicide from the point-of-view of a victim’s family and friends, investigators, first responders and the residents of a neighborhood. While many media portrayals of St. Louis’ homicide rate come as statistics, with little more than a blurb or sound bite attached to them, reporters Durrie Bouscaren and Rachel Lippmann looked at the issue more deeply.

Mary Edwards

Reporters Durrie Bouscaren and Camille Phillips have covered a wide variety of issues in the region in the last year. They joined host Don Marsh to discuss the most problematic ones and agreed the two most pressing issues are homicides and heroin addiction. To date there have been 187 homicides in St. Louis but few arrests.

vigil gun violence st. john's remember reflect respond
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

When he heard that his son had been shot, Rev. Ken McKoy felt the 15-minute drive to the hospital was the longest he has ever taken. His son’s life flashed before his eyes.

Flickr | alancleaver_2000

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

William Woods, the special agent in charge of the St. Louis office of the FBI, announces the Mission SAVE task force with chief Sam Dotson (L) and Mayor Francis Slay (R) Flanked by St. Louis Metropolitan Police chief Sam Dotson.
UPI | Bill Greenblatt

One hundred five people have been killed in St. Louis so far this year, putting the city on pace for nearly 200 homicides in 2015. Many more than that have been shot or put in danger of being shot.

Now, city officials are looking to a new local-federal task force to slow the pace of violence in the city.

Sam Dotson and officers listen to James Clark before a hotspot patrol in the Wells-Goodfellow neighborhood.
Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio

Crime in the city of St. Louis continues to be higher in 2015 compared to the numbers from last year.

Statistics released Tuesday by the St. Louis Metropolitan Police show crime was up nearly 14 percent overall in the first six months of 2015 compared to the same period last year, though the rate of increase has slowed each month. Every category of crime except rape and arson was up by double digits.

(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: 

St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce speaks with reporters about how her office will seek warrants for drivers who refuse breath tests.
Bill Greenblatt | UPI | File photo

St. Louis American - KANSAS CITY – “Last year in the city of St. Louis we had 159 homicides, 138 through gun violence, and more than 90 percent of the victims were young, African-American males,” St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer M. Joyce, the city’s elected prosecutor, said Monday at Kansas City Police Department headquarters. “We cannot have that again.”

Homicides reported in the City of St. Louis, according to Uniform Crime Reporting Statistics, by year. The 2014 year-to-date number is as of 10/27/2014.
Uniform Crime Reporting Statistics / FBI

In 2013, the city of St. Louis recorded 120 homicides. The city’s 148th homicide of 2014 occurred Tuesday night.

That’s nearly a 25 percent year-over-year increase, and is a problem that needs to be investigated, said Richard “Rick” Rosenfeld, a criminal justice professor at the University of Missouri–St. Louis and former president of the American Society of Criminology.

Rosenfeld doesn’t buy into the “Ferguson effect” — the notion that crime increased after the August shooting death of an 18-year-old man by a police officer in Ferguson, at least not in homicide numbers.

Rachel Lippmann / St. Louis Public Radio

A grandmother walking home from the store with her grandchildren. An Ethiopian refugee who worked as a convenience store clerk. A brother and a sister, killed three hours apart.

With a little more than two months left in the year, the city of St. Louis has already reached 120 homicides, the total number of murders reported in all of 2013.

That’s 120 victim’s families, assailant’s families, and neighborhood blocks that will never be the same, said James Clark.

The Washington Post has released a project this week entitled "Gun suicide and homicide: statistics shaped by race." In the project's interactive graphic, Missouri is listed, along with Washington, D.C. as the state/area with the highest rate of black homicide death in the nation. Explore more of the Post's work in this project via the link.

(via flickr/alancleaver_2000)

Saint Louis University is hosting a conference this week on advances in criminal death investigation and forensic science.

Conference organizer and SLU pathologist Dr. Mary Case is the chief medical examiner for St. Charles, Jefferson, and Franklin counties. Case says that this year, the biennial event has drawn about 200 participants from across the country.

(St. Louis Public Radio)

The homicide unit of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department is getting a little bigger.

The Board of Police Commissioners at its meeting today approved adding 10 detectives to the unit. Four of them have been serving with the division on a temporary basis, and the six others will be selected from among the city's 900 patrol officers.