Tuesday, October 13, 2015

St. Louis Is One Murder Away from Its 2014 Total

Posted By on Tue, Oct 13, 2015 at 11:13 AM


First the good news — St. Louis managed to make it through Monday without another murder, serious assault or even a fatal car crash, according to police.

Unfortunately, the city is still just one killing away from equaling the total number of homicides recorded in all of 2014. That seems to be a grim theme this fall, stretching across the state to encompass Missouri’s two largest cities. K.C. topped the dubious mark with a double homicide on Sunday, pushing its total to 81 during a particularly bloody weekend for the state’s metropolises.

“Enroute to another double homicide,” K.C. police Chief Darryl Forte tweeted shortly after the call came in, signing off with a plea, “#stopthemadness.”

St. Louis notched three killings between Saturday afternoon and Sunday night. That would have taken us to our 2014 total of 159 homicides, but the gruesome score keeping of crime statistics acknowledges only two as murder.

See Also: In 2015, St. Louis Is Headed Toward the Most Homicides in Decades. How Can We Stop The Bloodshed?

The third — a fairly horrific scenario that ended with a 59-year-old man fatally shooting his 35-year-old, gun-wielding stepson near Carondelet Park — was considered self-defense and classified as justified by police. Basically, the stepfather was able to kill his own relative before the younger man could kill him.

So St. Louis remained at 158 through Monday with little to no hope of holding off the deadly violence for more than a few days given the rate we’ve amassed killings this year.

A recent Riverfront Times cover story on the city’s murder problem pointed out St. Louis could top 200 slayings by New Year’s Eve for the first time in two decades. And while the killings in K.C. have spiked after a relatively low mark in 2014, St. Louis was already at frightening levels last year — the worst murder rate of any big city in the country.

Whether the 159th homicide comes today or next week won’t make that any easier to take.

We welcome tips and feedback. Email the author at doyle.murphy@riverfronttimes.com or follow on Twitter at @DoyleMurphy.

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