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18 children fall victim to gun violence across St. Louis area since May

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ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) --- A wave of gun violence across the St. Louis and Metro East area has left 17 children, all under the age of 16, and a young mother dead since early May. 

Some of the victims were just leaving a party, or standing on a sidewalk when they were shot and killed.

Many of the cases remain unsolved.  

Local residents and city leaders told News 4 that they are fed up with the rising violence.

SHOTS FIRED INTO HOME CLAIMS TEEN'S LIFE

On Sept. 27, Antione Lamar Brown was killed while inside his Glasgow Village home. 

Antione Lamar Brown

Antione Lamar Brown, 15, was killed when shots were fired into a Glasgow Village home during the early morning hours on Sept. 27.

Police said the 15-year-old was inside his home on Ross Circle when someone fired shots into the building around 5:30 a.m. 

At the time, police said the incident did not appear to be a random act.

TWO KILLED IN ONE DAY

A 13-year-old boy was walking with two individuals Thursday when a series of gunshots rang out and the boy was struck.

Clifford Swan III

Clifford Swan III

Clifford Swan III was walking near Oak Park Apartments in Spanish Lake around 6 p.m. on September 12 when he was shot. He later died from his injures at a local hospital. 

Jabari Lowery was charged with the murder. Police said it was not random.

Rodney March III

Rodney March III was killed in an accident shooting. His father was charged.

Earlier that same day, a 3-year-old boy, Rodney March III, found an insecure gun in his North County home and accidentally shot himself. He was later pronounced dead.

AUGUST SHOOTINGS CLAIM 4 LIVES

A 15-year-old Sentonio Cox was killed on August 25 just before 6 a.m. Officers arrived to the 7300 block of Vermont and found Cox with a gunshot wound to the head.

Sentonio Cox and Jurnee Thompson

Sentonio Cox, left, and Jurnee Thompson, right.

On a chilly Friday night, 8-year-old Jurnee Thompson was sitting in the stands at Soldan High School watching a football jamboree with her two cousins when suddenly a fight broke out. 

During the fight, shots rang out a block north of the high school.  Police said good Samaritans rushed to help the young girl clinging to life. 

The girl died moments later. 

Xavier Usanga

Xavier Usanga was shot and killed in the Hyde Park neighborhood Monday. He was 7 years old. 

A 7-year-old boy and an 18-year-old man were shot in the Hyde Park neighborhood of North City on Aug. 16, police said.

The shooting happened just after 5:00 p.m. in the 3500 block of N. 14th Street. According to police, Xavier Usanga was with a 12-year-old boy and 10-year-old girl when he was shot. 

Usanga was taken to the hospital and later pronounced dead.

The other two children with Usanga at the time of the shooting were not injured.

Jason Eberhart fatally shot

Jason Eberhart, 16, was fatally shot on August 18. 

"I SEE THE PAIN.. THE ANGUISH"

Days into the new school year, Jason Eberhart was a high school junior aspiring to be a NFL player.

But his dreams were cut short on Aug. 18.

Eberhart was shot multiple times while standing in a parking lot in the Carr Square neighborhood.

Charles Shelton said he woke up to a phone call Sunday morning with the news that his cousin, Eberhart, was killed.

"[Jason] was in the wrong place at the wrong time," Shelton said. "It's one of those situations where [I] wish I could have made a difference."

As police search for a suspect, Shelton is using his personal tragedy to fuel his mission to help others. 

A MOTHER AND SON SLAIN

Trina’ty Riley, son Caden and Elijah Johnson

Trina’ty Riley, far left, and 3-year-old Kayden Johnson, front center, were shot and killed in a late-night shooting Tuesday in north St. Louis

Early May, Elijah Johnson was heading to work when he got the hardest call of his life, he learned his 3-year-old son Kayden Johnson and the mother of his child Trina'ty Riley were killed. 

Neighbors told News 4 someone entered Riley's home in the 5900 block of Ferris and opened fire on the young mother and her child. About six to seven gunshots were heard before the suspect drove off. 

"Just a lot of pain, it was unbelievable. I could not believe it," Johnson said describing the pain he felt after learning the devastating news. "Mixed emotions, very heartbroken right now actually."

The case still remains unsolved at this time. 

"ANOTHER CHILD, THAT JUST SADDENS ME, ANOTHER CHILD" 

Kenndei Powell

Kenndei Powell, 3, was killed in a drive-by shooting in St. Louis (Family Photo)

In south St. Louis, Kennedi Powell, 3, was standing on the sidewalk with a group kids, ages 4, 6 and 8, on Michigan Ave early June when someone inside a white Nissan drove by and began firing shots.

'I heard gunshots. It gets me out of my bed and I see her lying there on the ground," said Powell's grandmother Tracy Waffard.

Witnesses said Powell's father was performing CPR on her as he waited for EMS to arrive. The 3-year-old later died at the hospital. 

A 6-year-old girl who was outside with Powell was struck in the back by a bullet, police say. 

READ:'We have got to stop fighting each other;' St. Louis residents fed up with rising violence

Eddie Hill

On July 19, 10-year-old Eddie Hill was hanging out with his father and other family members on the porch during a warm summer night. Family members said a dark-colored car crept down the 4700 block of Page and began shooting. 

Eddie Hill, Jaylon McKenzie, Kennedi Powell

Hill was hit in the chest and died shortly at the hospital. 

"Another child, that just saddens me. Another child," said resident Leroy Carter. "I don't know what to say. I don't have words. I'm speechless. You know, what are we gonna do about this violence around here?"

No one else was injured during the drive-by shooting. 

Authorities were called to the 1500 block of North 20th Street after an 11-year-old girl was found with a fatal gunshot wound to the head. The girl, later identified as Charnija Keys, reportedly lived nearby. Limited details about the shooting or potential suspects have been released but Keys' death is consider suspicious, officials say.

St. Louis Metropolitan Police Chief John Hayden said this is a low point for the city.

"So the notion that somebody would shoot when children could be in harm's way is an all-time kind of civic responsibility low that we are experiencing right now," Hayden said.

RISING ATHLETES

The Metro East community is mourning the death of a rising 14-year-old football star in Belleville, Illinois in May. 

"He's supposed to bury me, I'm not supposed to bury him," Otis Gunner said. "I can’t explain it. It’s a call you never thought you would get, never thought it would happen to you."

Jaylon McKenzie

14-year-old Jaylon McKenzie was shot and killed after leaving a party in Venice, Illinois.

Gunner's son, Jaylon McKenzie was leaving a house party when he and a 15-year-old girl were struck by stray gunfire. Gunner told News 4 McKenzie was leaving the party to avoid a fight at the party when he was shot and killed. Emergency crews transported McKenzie to a local hospital where his family and more than 75 of his friends waited for updates at the hospital. 

Gunner said his son died shortly at midnight.

Although he was still in middle school, the 14-year-old athlete was receiving attention from colleges like Mizzou and Illinois for his impressive skills on the field. His parents said he was shy and reserved but came alive while playing sports. 

McKenzie was also recently featured in Sports Illustrated magazine as one of the "Six Teens Who Will Rule the Future in Sports." 

Across the river in south St. Louis County, Robert "RJ" Dorsey went outside for a walk at night on July 17 when he was shot in the stomach. His aunt Cara Hibdon recalls the last moment that Dorsey's sister and grandmother saw him alive. 

"He hugged her and said, 'I’ll be right back' and walked outside and they shot him as soon as he walked out," she said. "He didn’t even make it down the driveway.”

The teen was a basketball star at Bayless High School and "was loved by his coaches." Police still do not have any leads to who may be responsible for killing the teen but family members believe the shooter may have known Dorsey.

A triple shooting that stemmed from an ongoing feud in Madison, Illinois left a 15-year-old died. Police in Madison said 15-year-old Omarion Coleman was among two other people, a 16-year-old and a 21-year-old, shot inside a home on 4th Street on July 10. 

"He took away all of the memories me and my brother had," said Shemyla Andrews, a sister of Coleman. "We really didn't get to grow up with each other but he's my brother, the same blood. I just can't believe this happened to him."

Coleman was shot once in the chest and later died. 

READ: 2 men charged after 15-year-old killed in triple shooting in Madison

Police arrested Corion Mosley and Torion Mosley in connection with the deadly shooting. The Mosleys and the three victims were had been in an ongoing feud days before the shooting, police say.

"I CAN'T UNDERSTAND WHY.."

Fourteen-year-old Ien Coleman was found dead inside a North County apartment after officers responded to a welfare check on July 20. Officers said Coleman was inside the complex with a group of teenagers when a gun went off and struck the teen. 

A person of interest has been identified in the case. 

An investigation is still ongoing as authorities continue to search for a suspect who shot and killed 14-year-old Kristina Curry in south St. Louis. Family members said Curry's body was found in an alley between Roosevelt High School and the school's football field.

"I hurt because I can't understand why someone would hurt my granddaughter that way," said Curry's grandmother Antanina Valentine.

Homicide detectives are still investigating the deaths of Jashon Johnson and Myiesha Cannon who were both killed early June in North City. Johnson, 16, was found with multiple fatal gunshot wounds in the area of Red Bud and Maragaretta. Two days later, Cannon was found in the 4400 block of Lexington with a gunshot wound to the head. 

Cannon was pronounced dead at the scene.

The search is still on for their killers. 

Anyone with information on any of these cases is urged to call the Homicide Division directly at 314-444-5371, or anyone with a tip who wants to remain anonymous and is interested in a reward can contact CrimeStoppers at 866-371-TIPS (8477).

Copyright 2019 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved

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