Kids and teens at the center of one of the deadliest weekends in St. Louis City this year
Six people were shot and killed in St. Louis City limits, four of them, 18 and under.
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - A crime alert is spanning all parts of the metro area after this weekend. Fourteen people were shot and six died in a deadly weekend in the City of St. Louis. Four of the victims this weekend were 18-years-old and younger. Now, leaders across the area are calling for a change as families mourn.
“It’s scary. It’s a scary situation,” Renee Cooper said.
Cooper lives in North County but still has family within the city limits. She said this gun violence is affecting everyone.
“Who wants to keep going to funerals? Who wants to wear their child or their loved one on their shirt? I never wanted to wear my son on my shirt. I always said that, but now, I find myself wearing my son on my shirt all the time,” Cooper explained.
Cooper knows the hurt and pain of gun violence too well. In 2015, her son Rashad Farmer was shot and killed in broad daylight in North City.
“They don’t have any care about what they do to people. It’s all about them. I’m seven years in, and I still don’t have any justice for my son. I still don’t have any answers,” Cooper said.
Farmer was only 23 when he was killed. Cooper said she hasn’t stopped searching for answers and advocating for change across her community, specifically for kids and teens.
“I think that they glamorize all this stuff like it’s okay to do, but I feel like, you know, we have organizations and things and places for the kids,” Cooper continued.
It’s something Cooper and local leaders said starts at home.
“Do you know where your kid is at when they’re not at their home? Especially if they’re underage, you know, their location, who are they hanging with, what are they doing?” Reggie Jones asked.
Jones is the Mayor of Dellwood in North County. He said the Dellwood Recreational Center is just one way they invest and introduce youth programming to keep kids off the street. He said it’s especially crucial to have these resources with summer around the corner.
“We provide a lot of different programs, a lot of different activities from boxing, to swimming, you name it. You have to start thinking out of the box and create these opportunities not just for kids, but for families so mom, dad and siblings can do things together,” Jones explained.
Jones said it needs to be a community-wide effort to engage young people, so the violence this summer doesn’t get worse. Right now, there’s already a curfew downtown every day of the week. We’re waiting to hear what police efforts will look like downtown in the future.
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