Annual violence memorial held in St. Louis as city hovers near 200 homicides again

Published: Dec. 31, 2022 at 9:22 PM CST
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - An organization aimed at reducing violence in St. Louis held its annual memorial service remembering people who have been victims of violence.

Mothers Advocating Safe Streets held the event at Williams Temple Cogic Church in North St. Louis on Saturday.

In 2021, the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department recorded 200 homicides. As of Saturday night, authorities recorded 198 for 2022.

“Parents are really burying their children. Children are not burying us,” said Sheila Price, M.A.S.S. vice president. “I just buried a grandson three weeks ago.”

Price said she lost a son to gun violence in 1996 and recently lost her grandson. She looks forward to the city having a new police chief, but she’s disappointed Mayor Tishaura Jones didn’t attend Saturday’s service.

“You’re looking at 200 murders. What can you say to the parents? You’re not here,” she added. “The mayor, captain, chief--whoever--they need to show up. We need support for them if they want support from us. People have lost trust in the police department.”

The mayor’s office confirmed to News 4 the mayor had a prior engagement, but a representative from the office was in attendance.