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Number of children shot locally keeps climbing

Published: May. 18, 2022 at 6:58 PM CDT
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ST. LOUIS (KMOV) -- A 12-year-old boy shot in the Greater Ville neighborhood Tuesday evening was the 40th child shot this year in St. Louis. According to the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, the boy was shot in the back around 9 p.m. at the intersection of Labadie and Clarence.

Effie Pounds lives on Labadie Avenue near the scene of the shooting. She’s been a resident there for 64 years.

“We hear gunshots every night,” she said.

According to the St. Louis County Police Department, eight children have been gunshot victims in unincorporated areas of St. Louis County this year.

Of the 48 children shot in St. Louis City and County so far this year, some were the victims of an accidental shooting after discovering a handgun in a home. The Pagedale Police Department has given out over 7,000 gun locks in the last few years in an effort to prevent those kinds of tragedies.

“One of the very first priorities is the gun locks for these guns in homes,” said Police Chief Eddie Simmons.

Nationally since 2013, 601 children have been killed by guns and 1,496 have been injured, according to the Gun Violence Archive.

Better Family Life Vice President for Community Engagement Tyronne Turner said there’s no magic solution to reducing the gun violence in St. Louis and that it’ll take time.

“What we’re attempting to do is kind of change mindsets around community and how we connect and interact with one another,” he said.

Turner said there are 70 teens enrolled in the agency’s youth program, which provides mentoring and counseling, among other services.