St. Louis police say outbreak of violence likely due to feuding groups


by staff

Posted on January 30, 2013 at 5:19 PM

Updated Thursday, Jan 31 at 1:18 AM

(KMOV) – St. Louis police are warning officers to watch for outbreaks of violence they say may be due to a feud between groups that’s been going on for more than a year.

A source at St. Louis City Hall told News 4 the groups have been shooting at and killing each other during the span of the feud.

Officers working the streets were given a heads-up about at least four different blocks where there could be retaliation.

The 6300 block of Sherry in many ways looks like a quiet neighborhood. But it’s one of the areas police are keeping a careful eye on.

It’s just two blocks away from the intersection of Lillian and Goodfellow, where two of the victims from last Friday’s shooting ended up after someone in an SUV opened fire on their car.

Better Family Life, an organization that helps provide education, jobs, medical and legal assistance to those in need, is stationed near those neighborhoods. The group has a placard near the front door that says “put down the pistol,” a plea to stop the violence.

“The St. Louis City Police Department cannot solve this problem by itself,” said Better Family Life’s James Clark, who works some of the toughest neighborhoods.

He says hot spot police work is fine, but now the community needs to provide hot spot resourcing.

“We have allowed a subculture to be born and to actually now fester where retaliation with gun violence is part of that culture,” said Clark.

Earlier this week, police were specific about any threat to the public.

“What we do not have are packs of gangs roaming the city targeting innocent people,” St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson said Monday. “We don’t have random shootings. What we have are these disputes between rival groups over individuals. We don’t see random homicides and shootings. They are very targeted and very specific.”