Washington Avenue death

ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) – A man from California was shot inside a truck and then pushed out onto Washington Avenue in downtown St. Louis Friday night, police say.

Police said the shooting happened around 9:20 p.m. Friday near Washington Ave and 15th Street.

Police said the suspects then left the area. Officers later found the truck involved in the shooting but no one was inside the vehicle. 

The man was pronounced dead on the scene. He was later identified as Brandon Bentley, 50, from Redwood Valley, California. 

Several witnesses told News 4 they heard the shooting and some said they tried to help the victim.

"Well I kind of hugged the wall a little bit just to make sure I wasn't gonna catch any strays but after that I walked down a little bit to see if I could give him any help, check his pulse and couldn't find nothing," said one witness. "Definitely could see he was fatally wounded."

The shooting continued a violent start to 2020 for the city of St. Louis, which has already recorded eight homicides in the first 70 hours of the year.

St. Louis' mayor, Lyda Krewson, addressed the violence on Friday acknowledging a single solution isn't simple. She did give some concrete examples of what she is hoping to change in 2020 to curb that violence. One of them, is declaring gun violence a public health crisis. She said it would make a difference as resources will be re-allocated.

"Unfortunately we had a particularly violent start to 2020 and of course it's very troubling and it's discouraging," Krewson said. "I send my condolences to all the family members and friends."

The mayor said she is working with the state legislature to lift the residency requirement for city police officers. She said the city continues to be short at least 130 officers. She also said she wants to increase their pay.

Copyright 2020 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved

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