Number of St. Louis teens, young children falling victim to gunfire increases


by Craig Cheatham / News 4

Posted on November 13, 2013 at 6:57 PM

Updated Thursday, Nov 14 at 8:42 AM

(KMOV) –A teen was shot while walking to his bus stop in St. Louis on Wednesday and while that should shock people, the number of times teens and young children are targets of gunfire in the city is stunning.

News 4’s Craig Cheatham found that over the past three and a half months, 19 teens and young children in St. Louis have been targets of gunfire. Of those hit, five were killed.

Sometimes the shootings happen in broad daylight in a bold violent barrage that few of us can imagine.

Six months ago, in the Penrose neighborhood on the city’s north side, gunfire erupted outside the home of Terry Burgess.   The bullets missed her 4-year-old grandson who raced to the front door, and grabbed hold of her.        

"He was terrified. He had a look on his face like he was running for his life. He was 4,” said Burgess.

Still outside were Terry's daughter Caroline, and Caroline's 16-year-old son, Pierre. Caroline said”He just was running straight and as soon as I got up to him he fell."

Pierre had been shot in the back. The JROTC Cadet and athlete who dreamed of being a lawyer, died there, surrounded by more than 20 shell casings. He had taken two younger cousins to the store for candy bars.

"I know it's not my fault, but I just wish I hadn't called him to go down the street to the store because he wouldn't have been down there,” Caroline Burgess said.

Pierre was gunned down in broad daylight, in front of witnesses, but there are still no arrests in the six month old case.

“It’s sad that nobody’s surprised when a 16-year old is gunned down,” said Terry Burgess

Caroline said, “People are so hypocritical. If it was someone in their family, they'd want everybody to help. Other than that, people keep quiet, and they shouldn't do that, but they do.”

St. Louis police say seven teenagers are among the suspects in shootings since August 1. One of them is 15-years old.