St. Louis Homicides Down 30 Percent for First Six Months of '09; Teen Murders On Pace for Lesser Declines

Jul 1, 2009 at 7:21 am
As of today (July 1) the year is half over. And according to numbers provided by the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, homicides are down nearly 30 percent compared to 2008. 

As of Monday (June 29), the police reported 60 murders in the city in 2009 compared with 85 by mid-year 2008. Given that clip, St. Louis would end up with 120 homicides in 2009, down from the 167 killings that occurred in the city during an extremely violent 2008. (Last year's homicides were the most the city has seen since 204 people were slayed in 1995.)

Teen murders, however, are not on pace to see as steep a decline as the overall homicide rate this year. As of Monday, a dozen minors between the ages of 13 and 19 have died as a result of violence in the city. If that rate continues, the city would see 24 teenagers murdered in 2008 -- a decline of just 18 percent from the 29 teens (aged 13-19) killed in 2008.

The two latest teen killings came this past weekend.

On Saturday night a 16-year-old was gunned down around 11:30 p.m. near the intersection of Arlington Avenue and Martin Luther King Drive (pictured below).

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The boy, who hadn't been identified earlier this week, was allegedly standing on a second-floor porch when a gunman sneaked around a nearby building and fired several shots hitting the teen in the chest and arm. He died shortly following the shooting.

Nearly 24 hours later another St. Louis teen died of gunshot wounds. Police report that 18-year-old Kenneth Fitzgerald was shot in the shoulder around 10:30 p.m. Sunday night in the 1600 block of Carr Drive near downtown.

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Fitzgerald was hanging out with others when two men began firing. He died at a hospital to become the city's twelfth teen homicide of the year.