ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) – After six people, including three children, died in homicides in St. Louis City over the weekend, one state lawmaker says its time for a special session to address the violence.
Around 8:00 p.m. Friday, 8-year-old Jurnee Thompson was among four people shot near Soldan High School. She died at a local hospital.
Saturday afternoon around 2:30 p.m., police responded to a call at the Edge Lofts in the Downtown West neighborhood. Nyla Banks, 9, Antoinette Banks, 45, and Gene Watson III, 46, were found dead. Police say they suffered numerous puncture wounds.
Around the same time, police said Janese Crawford, 21, was shot on I-70 near West Florissant. She was found dead in a car in the 5000 block of Wren.
Sentonio Cox, 15, was shot in the head in the 7300 block of Vermont around 6:00 a.m. Sunday. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
No suspects have been arrested in connection with any of the weekend homicides, police say.
16 children have been homicide victims in St. Louis City over the summer.
Saturday, St. Louis City officials announced that a $25,000 reward is being offered for anyone that has information that leads to an arrest in any case where a child has been shot.
Missouri State Representative Peter Merideth says more is needed. He believes the Cure Violence program could make a difference. It is similar in many ways to what Better Family Life is doing, but the program would have more funding.
Merideth says funding is currently lacking, adding that the state must step in and help provide funds.
"In the short, I see things like the Cure Violence program that other cities have done effectively, that other cities have done to curb violence," Merideth said. "Right now, the city has offered $500,000 to start that program, but that only gets us a neighborhood or two, but if we want to make this citywide and end this epidemic, we have we need another $2 million. That's something the state can come up with. I think that's the type of emergency that warrants a special session and its something that could be done right now."
Hey @GovParsonMO: another child killed in STL by gun violence yesterday. Would you consider special session for an approp of $2mil to STL to fully fund the proven CURE program to address violent crime at the root cause? The city has budgeted $500k but needs $2.7 to fund citywide.— Peter Merideth (@PeterforMO) August 24, 2019
News 4 reached out to Gov. Mike Parson's office about a call for increased funding for the Cure Violence program but have not heard back.