Police discover 'community gun' in abandoned house

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by Maggie Crane / News 4

KMOV.com

Posted on June 12, 2012 at 9:12 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jun 13 at 4:32 AM

ST. LOUIS (KMOV) -- St. Louis police have pulled another “community gun” off the street.  It’s a weapon that countless criminals share, then hide in secret places throughout the city.

City aldermen and police are working together to find the guns and get them off the street.

Behind the boards of a vacant home in the Walnut Park East neighborhood, police discovered a loaded pistol. Police say it was strategically placed for anyone to use to commit any crime at any time.  Now police are testing it, hoping to connect it to unsolved crimes in the city.  

“Everybody who kind of works in that area knows that’s where you can find a gun to do with whatever,” St. Louis Alderman Antonio French, 21st Ward, said.  “They use it and put it back for anyone else to use.”

Alderman French says he found several community guns when he tore down vacant buildings along Lee Avenue last year.

“We’ve got our own intel sources in the neighborhood to let us know where trouble is happening, but it really shows a whole other aspect of why these vacant buildings are dangerous to our community,” French said.  “We’ve got some areas over on College Hill where we’ll be demolishing some buildings that we believe are being used for the same reason. It’s a big problem.”

Community guns can create problems for prosecutors and police, because when several people use the same weapon, it can be difficult to prove who actually pulled the trigger.

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