Violent 3-hour stretch in St. Louis sees 4 murders; city's homicide rate closes in on 2018 total

St. Louis has 153 homicides in 2019. There were 186 in 2018.

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ST. LOUIS ( -- In the span of three hours Monday night, four people were murdered in St. Louis, pushing the city’s homicide count to 153.

The spate of deadly violence began Monday night just before 7:45 p.m. when two men were shot to death in the 4800 block of Hammett Place.

30-year-old Russell Rutherford and 29-year-old Kent Hamm Jr. both had multiple gunshot wounds, and witnesses say the gunfire came from a black SUV.

An hour after Rutherford and Hamm were murdered, a man and woman were shot inside an apartment in the 8600 black of Halls Ferry Road.

The 21-year-old woman, identified as Deariah Jones died after suffering multiple gunshot wounds. She was transported to the hospital but did not survive.

The 26-year-old male victim was wounded in the shooting, and is hospitalized in critical condition.

Then, just after 10 p.m., officers found a woman murdered in an alley near the 1400 block of Hamilton. Police say she had been shot multiple times.

The four homicides follow a Sunday night double homicide in the Wells-Goodfellow neighborhood, in which Jacqueline Griffin, 26, and Derrick Hudson, 22, were found shot to death inside a car in the 5800 block of Maffitt.

Monday marks the third instance this year of at least four murders in a single day in St. Louis.

2019 has seen an especially violent summer, in which 15 children (17 in the metro area) have been shot and killed the city since the end of April. The 153 homicides this year have are nearly to the 2018 total (186) with more than three months left on the calendar. The city say 205 murders in 2017.

City leaders have reached out to state officials for help addressing the violence, which continues to keep St. Louis ranked as one of the country’s three most dangerous cities every year.

Governor Mike Parson has met multiple times with Mayor Lyda Krewson and law enforcement officials and has authorized the use of Missouri State Highway Patrol troopers on state roads within city limits.

The city has also created a new position called the Director of Children, Youth and Families to address the root causes that lead to young people gravitating toward gun and drug-related violence.

Wilford Pickney, recently named as the director, was hired from New York City to take the position.

Copyright 2019 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved

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