Police: Gun Violence Up Due To Younger Gang Leaders | News
ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)– Ten people were shot and one was killed Monday night in six separate shootings around St. Louis. Four of the wounded remain in critical condition.
The good news? City murders are down 16 percent from this time last year. But aggravated assaults with guns are up 19 percent. And that means the bad guys are shooting more and hitting their targets less, which means more danger for anybody nearby.
Through the end of June, there were 1,024 aggravated assaults with a gun in the city. That’s up from last year. But there were 58 murders down from last year. So what’s that tell police?
“It tells us a few different things,” said Captain Ronnie Robinson. “That maybe these guys aren’t as accurate as they should be, thank god they’re not as accurate with weapons as they possibly could be.”
Captain Ronnie Robinson heads the St. Louis police operations unit. He says the hot boys, street slang for the gunmen, are producing a lot of collateral damage.
“We have had some shooting where some individuals who were not involved with the conflict have been injured, have been hurt, and, uh, killed. And we’re doing everything we can to combat that right now,” said Robinson.
Detria Howlett’s son, 20-year-old Jackese Reynolds, was sitting on a porch with a friend Monday night at 6:30 on Highland Street in north St. Louis. His friend was murdered, Jackese was wounded. His mother has kept her four kids away from street violence until now.
“They don’t hang outside, they don’t, they don’t do none of that, so I thought that they were safe, and now I see my son can’t even be outside. He was at his friend’s house, just outside on the porch and this occurred in broad daylight,” said Howlett.
Why the increase in gunplay? Cops suspect it may be because the older leadership in drug and neighborhood gangs is in jail. That means the shooters are now younger and quicker to shoot.
“People are trying to maintain what they call their street credibility. And show and demonstrate that they’re not a pushover, that they’re not weak. So they’re using guns and weapons to solve problems,” stated Robinson.
And in the last few weeks using the guns more often.
Police say we’re noticing the shootings more because there have been so many jammed into the space of just a few weeks.