A young woman was shot in the Central West End yesterday. The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department is investigating this crime with the intensity it deserves ' and detectives are pursuing several lines of inquiry. Whatever they discover, this tragedy - and too many others in just the past several weeks - makes me angry and frustrated and determined.
I am angry about what happened to this young woman and the terrible loss suffered by her family, former teammates, friends, and co-workers. Whatever the circumstances, it was done by someone who deserves every bad thing that happens to him from this day forward.
I am frustrated because American cities, including ours, are awash in guns. Crime has trended down in St. Louis for the past six years, in almost every category except gun violence. The same story is playing out in other American cities, like Philadelphia and Chicago. The more guns there are, the more people are using their guns. But, our legislature will not let us do anything about guns. (And, if you want to see why, check out the outraged comments on my Facebook regarding a simple statement about the proliferation of guns.)
I am determined that we will find who did this and bring him to justice. The police have asked for the help of every resident to identify the gunman. Let's help them.
I am also determined that, despite the legislature tying our hands, we are going to do everything we can to reduce gun violence. Earlier this summer, my office asked the SLMPD for a focused strategy against such violence, which is running contrary to more general trends of lower crime rates. Chief Isom says he is ready to talk publicly about what the department has been doing, which involves a concentration of resources aimed at both individuals and neighborhoods. That's a good thing. I strongly believe that city residents and businesses need to hear much more, not less, from the SLMPD.
And beyond the police department, I will continue to join my voice to the prosecutor's to ask our judges for higher bonds for all gun crimes. And our neighborhood stabilization efforts will be intensified to expand neighborhood involvement in public safety.
CWE and citywide crime statistics, year to date.