Breckenridge Hills, I owe you an apology.
Tuesday night there was a drive-by shooting after a basketball game let out at Riverview Gardens High School. A 15-year-old student from the school was wounded in the leg. He was with a group of friends walking home and they were about a block from the school.
St. Louis County Police said they were searching for a gray or silver Pontiac G6 with tinted windows. I had some information that the vehicle description matched a description of a car that was involved in a drive-by shooting two days earlier in Breckenridge Hills. I included it in the reports on Wednesday morning. If the car was involved in two drive-by shootings in three days around north St. Louis county it was important to get that information out.
There was one problem. The information was wrong.
Breckenridge Hills Police say they have no report of a shooting in Breckenridge Hills from this past weekend.
I have taken steps to make sure that the problem that led to the wrong information going out on the air does not happen again. I have a policy as a reporter--I will report what I believe to be accurate information and if the wrong information goes out on the air I will correct the mistake as soon as I can.
Mark Twain once wrote that "The difference between the almost right word & the right word is really a large matter--it's the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning." As a reporter, I always strive for the right word and not the "almost right word." The information we put out on the air or on our website should be 100% accurate.
I grew up in north St. Louis county so I'm familiar with Breckenridge Hills. It's a great community. Like other communities, the people there take pride in their homes and their neighborhoods. They want their community to be safe and secure. When word goes out that there's a drive-by shooting in your neighborhood it tarnishes your neighborhood's reputation.
I, in no way, meant to tarnish Breckenridge Hills' reputation.
Again, Breckenridge Hills you have my apology.