Violent Thanksgiving weekend sends St. Louis homicide level past - KMOV.com

Violent Thanksgiving weekend sends St. Louis homicide level past 2016 total

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Officers on scene of a deadly shooting in Old North St. Louis Tuesday night (KMOV) Officers on scene of a deadly shooting in Old North St. Louis Tuesday night (KMOV)

The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department was busy over the Thanksgiving long-weekend investigating multiple homicides, 25 shootings, and 4 stabbing incidents. 

Three homicides on Thanksgiving Day and more over the weekend have bumped the total number of homicides in St. Louis this year to 190, surpassing the murder count from last year. 

With more than a month to go before the end of 2017, News 4 took a closer look at the numbers and what can be done to bring those numbers down.

Bennie Newsome has seen some changes in his north St. Louis neighborhood since he moved here in the 1960’s from Texas.

“When I was a little kid we could leave the front door open and everything, better not now. Just shows us the people of the generations have changed,” said Newsome.

Police are investigating two killings that occurred in the Wells-Goodfellow neighborhood early in the afternoon on Thursday.

Later in the evening, a killing in south St. Louis left a man dead after police found him with a bullet wound in his head.

On the following day, a fight broke out in the 3600 block of Iowa that left one man dead.

Saturday evening, a victim was shot and killed in the Baden neighborhood.

Homicide detectives are still looking for suspects in the shooting death of 26-year-old Danielle Wilder that occurred Sunday night.

Saint Louis continues its trend of being at or near the top of the most dangerous cities.

"The fact of the matter is more young men carry guns than wallets now," said James Clark, the head of Better Family Life. "In some of our more challenged neighborhoods, conflicts are resolved with gun  violence. Crime is expected and accepted."

Better Family Life is a nonprofit that tries to provide social services to impoverished neighborhoods. Through his work, Clark sees young kids facing choices, and some of them starting to head down the wrong path. Many times, guns are part of that path. 

"A gun is like a cigarette lighter, you find them all over the place," said St. Louis police Lieutenant John Green. 

Green says the rising homicide rate is a compilation of several things. Easy access to firearms is one, but so is the lack of jobs and education. 

"You go to school you learn, think a little better thought process improves," Green said. "You learn how to reason and deal with things."

One year ago on this date, the number of murders stood at 171.

In 2013, there were 120 homicides, which shot up to 159 in 2014. The numbers continued to climb with 188 the next following two years.

"We gotta get churches, gotta get families, gotta get the whole group of people. All of us have to get involved," Newsome said. "Not just one organization is gonna do it. It's gonna take all of us to do it."

Click here to view St. Louis police report on 2017 homicides.

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