2015 deadliest year in St. Louis since 1995 - KMOV.com

2015 deadliest year in St. Louis since 1995

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

The City of St. Louis is on track to have one of the deadliest years since 1995.

On Wednesday, a man was pronounced dead on the scene from a gunshot wound to the head in old north St Louis. The homicide total for 2015 now stands at 181.

"Men, women and children are murdered in our communities every day. It is like we expect it and accept it," says James Clark with Better Family Life.

It hasn't always been like this.

20 years ago, the city found itself in a similar position. A gang explosion and the cocaine-crack drug trade ran the streets.

"The market was there driving people that wanted that drug. There was a lot of competition to sell that drug and lot of competition let to an increase of murders," says criminologist Tim Maher.

A hands-on approach stopped the bleeding then.

"We had gang summits where we would go meet with one set of gang members, meet with the other set of gang members and do intake and help them find employment," says Clark.

Clark says stakeholders were in those neighborhoods, but left the communities to pay for it.

"You have broken families living in dysfunctional neighborhoods and we don’t clearly accept the depth of dysfunction so now you have conditions that actually condition people to have a certain mentality," he says.

The big question is where does St. Louis go from here?

"To suggest that we will reduce crime today, like we did 20 years ago, I don't think there's any guarantee like that, but that shouldn't stop us from trying," says Maher.

“We didn't get into this situation overnight, we are not going to get out of this situation overnight. Right now, our collective ship is heading in the wrong direction," Clark said 

It is important to note that overall crime in the city is down substantially over the past twenty years. Police say total crime has decreased nearly 58.23 percent, since 1995. Total person crime has decreased 57.48 percent and total property crime has decreased 58.43 percent.

CrimeStoppers is working to solve many of the cases and offers a cash reward of up to $5,000 for information to leads police to make felony arrests in all homicides.  

For more detailed crime statistics, click here.

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