New York man, 72, shot while visiting St. Louis for birth of grandchild

Dozens gather to man shot and killed Friday night in Tower Grove South neighborhood. (Credit:KMOV)

ST. LOUIS ( -- A New York man was fatally shot in St. Louis Friday night while visiting town for the birth of a grandchild, neighbors told News 4.

Police said Kenneth Spalter, 72, of Pound Ridge, New York, was shot when he and a 71-year-old woman were getting out of their parked car in the 3800 block of Juniata before 10:00 Friday night. Police believe two men approached them and demanded their car keys. During the incident, police say a struggle began between Spalter and one of the suspects and one shot was fired. Spalter was rushed to a St. Louis hospital, where he died.

The two suspects ran from the scene and got into a black vehicle, which fled south of Gustine. No arrests have been made.

In honor of Spalter, neighbors came out in force Sunday night to show support. They gathered at Juniata and Gustine for a moment of silence and then walked the block.

“I won’t stay behind my doors because of my dog and I won’t stay behind my fear I will bring it out and light my candle and put some hope into the streets,” said Jeffrey Deutsch who has lived in the Tower Grove South neighborhood for more than 20 years.

It wasn’t just longtime residents who came out to show their support. A couple who is about to get married is going to call the neighborhood home as a family. They decided to come to make their presence known and get to know their neighbors.

“Even though I live in the county I can’t say I know a lot of my neighbors, here I’ve met so many people and the block that I will be moving to they’re wonderful neighbors,” said Erica Foster.

The crime has really touched the entire community.

“We don’t see crimes of those magnitude here that often it’s been probably a year since we’ve had a homicide and so whenever something like that does happen it really shakes our community,” said Ward 15 Alderwoman Megan Green.

Alderwoman Green said she hopes the next city administration realizes now is the time for change.

“I hope that the next mayor and the next leadership that comes in really takes a critical look at what’s working other paces and see how we can tailor that to our needs to get a handle on our crime issues,” said Green.

Copyright 2017 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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