A mother who lost her 19-year-old son weeks before Christmas is speaking out against the record-high crime rate in the city of St. Louis.
Kendrick Isiah Woods was shot and killed earlier this month in the Shaw neighborhood. He was found dead on the back porch of a home on the 3900 block of De Tonty St. on December 2nd.
"I did not fear the city before December the 2nd," said Lisa Woods, Kendrick's mother, "but I do fear it now."
St. Louis City Police made an arrest on December 21. Dejuan Allen, 19, was charged with first-degree murder and armed criminal activity.
With the approaching holiday, Wood says it's been hard to even begin to heal from the pain, “There’s a big void," said Woods.
Woods says her son and Allen, his alleged killer, both knew each other. They went to Clyde C. Miller High School together for a few years, before Woods transferred to Roosevelt High School his senior year to graduate.
"These kids are so called friends. These are not enemies," said Woods, "Kendrick goes to their house on a regular basis and plays the game system, they're not strangers."
She is concerned about what teenagers’ value as important these days.
"You're putting a destructive weapon in the hand of a child who doesn't have the mental capacity to understand the detrimental effects of using that weapon," said Woods, "I think sometimes they actually think they're going to get up and see them tomorrow."
The Woods' mantel is a mixture of Christmas cards and sympathy cards.
"It'll be the first Christmas and New Years without Kendrick who loves to celebrate and dance with his mother," said Woods.
Her son is added to the list of a record 203 people who were murdered in St. Louis in 2017, making it the deadliest year in the city since 1995.
"I'm coping day by day," said Woods, who is unsure when her healing will actually begin.
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