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Nightmarish Shooting in St. Louis Leaves 1 Juvenile Dead and 9 Injured

Nightmarish Shooting in St. Louis Leaves 1 Juvenile Dead and 9 Injured

The shooting that took place late on Sunday in downtown St. Louis left at least one teen dead and nine others wounded, Mayor Tishaura Jones said. The incident occurred just after 1 a.m. CT in a building on 14th and Washington that was hosting a party. The area is commonly used as an office.

On Sunday, Police Chief Robert Tracy announced that a 17-year-old male suspect had been taken into custody. “This Father’s Day, families across the St. Louis region woke to the news of yet another mass shooting,” Jones said.

“It’s every parent’s worst nightmare, tenfold,” Jones said. “My heart goes out to all of the families in pain today. All those attending will carry with them the scars, physical and mental, from the gun violence that tore into their lives.”

Tracy claims that the deceased male victim was 17 years old. The chief said that, the ages of the wounded people range from 15 to 19. He further mentioned that a female teenager, aged 17, was seriously injured after being stomped while fleeing the scene.

A handgun and an AR-15-style rifle were among the weapons found at the site, police chief Tracy said. The authorities are trying to determine who in charge of the office building was responsible for the party.

City Investing in Youth Programs

At the press conference, Mayor Jones discussed the terrifying regularity of school shootings and the threat they pose to students. Jones recalled that when she was an adolescent, most evenings were spent with friends at teen centers or skating rinks.

“There were places to go and things to do and we were safe. Not so much anymore,” she said. “For our babies living in households struggling to make ends meet, where can they go to see their friends and have fun?”

“All too often the answer leads to something dangerous and unfortunately tragic situations like this one.” By investing on juvenile programs with the money saved from events like Sunday’s party, St. Louis officials are aiming to provide more safe spaces for children, Jones said.

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Summer programs that provide “safe. educational spaces” when students are off-campus are one example. “Officers respond after the shooting starts and we as a city, as a community, and as a region must offer our young people safe spaces before it escalates into dangerous late night parties in cubicles in office buildings,” Jones said.

She mentioned that the St. Louis Agency on Training and Employment has both seasonal and year-round employment possibilities for young people (16-24), including the YouthBuild program that helps at-risk kids find employment and further their education.

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The mayor also mentioned that the St. Louis Office of Violence Prevention is using federal funding to host pop up activities like movie nights and music events so that young people in the city can socialize in a safe environment.

At the press conference, Serena Muhammad, the Saint Louis Mental Health Board’s deputy director, emphasized the need for community members to give solutions in order to establish safe environments for young people.

According to Muhammad, the city’s efforts to improve the health of its residents extend beyond the school day to include after-hours activities, community gatherings, and support for families dealing with trauma.

Weak Gun Laws “Are Killing our Children”

The mayor stated that the state’s gun laws are the most pressing issue, alongside the need to provide safe areas for children. Everytown for Gun Safety conducted a study in 2022 that found Missouri to have one of the highest rates of gun deaths in the United States.

“Our state’s lax gun laws make our challenge even more difficult,” Jones said. “The Missouri legislature failed to restrict minors from carrying guns, a common sense solution to keep dangerous weapons out of the hands of children.”

In the press conference, Rep. Cori Bush, whose district includes all of St. Louis, echoed Jones’s comments on how a lack of efforts to reduce gun violence in the United States contributed to Sunday’s tragedy.

“And why?” Bush said. “Because of weak gun laws in the state of Missouri and across this country that are killing our children, legislators that are blocking literal life-saving policies that could help protect our children and the very people they were elected to represent.”

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According to the Gun Violence Archive, there have been more than 310 mass shootings in the United States this year. “When we sign up to represent people, we sign up to represent all the people. The truth is we know how to tackle this preventable crisis. We can save lives, we can save our children,” Bush said.

“But state and federal lawmakers, legislating from within the pockets of the NRA, they won’t stop the harm. They are choosing guns over our children. They are choose violence over safety. They are choosing death over life.”

While the number of mass shootings has increased since the passing of the bipartisan gun safety law last year, there is no political movement in the divided Congress to approve additional gun safety legislation.

Despite being the most significant new federal legislation to reduce gun violence since the assault weapons ban of 1994 expired after 10 years, the law did not include a ban on any firearms.

“The violence these children experienced last night is intolerable and unacceptable,” Jones said. “Wrap your arms around your children today as we mourn because I will wrap my arms around mine.”

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