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Boy, 14, shot in St. Louis' Midtown, continues streak of youth hit by gunfire

Boy, 14, shot in St. Louis' Midtown, continues streak of youth hit by gunfire

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ST LOUIS — A 14-year-old boy was wounded in the foot during a drive-by shooting in Midtown on Wednesday afternoon, marking at least the 30th child age 17 or younger to be shot in St. Louis this year.

The teen told officers he was walking in the 30 block of South Grand Boulevard about 3 p.m. when two males he knew pulled up in an SUV and shot at him.

He was struck in the foot, but walked to a nearby hospital and was stable, police said.

The Post-Dispatch has reported that at least 30 children and teens 17 or younger have been shot in the city this year, including 11 classified as homicides by police. Across the metro area this year, at least 57 children 17 or younger have been shot, including 21 deaths.

In 2019, there were 13 homicides in that age group in the city. The issue of child homicides became a focal point in St. Louis after a devastating string of child killings last summer.

The area’s largest children’s hospitals have also reported an unsettling number of juveniles seeking treatment for gunshot wounds.

From January through July, St. Louis Children’s Hospital has treated 76 youths for gunshot wounds, compared with 50 by the end of July in 2019 and 52 in 2018. Those injuries include accidents and some cases of self-harm, according to the hospital.

“If you average out our total numbers for May, we’re right now seeing a patient being shot every other day,” Dr. Lindsay Clukies, a Washington University pediatric emergency medicine physician at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, told the Post-Dispatch in May.

Clukies told the Post-Dispatch that the pattern could be related to children staying at home because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Accidental shootings often happen in the home, Clukies said. And during the pandemic, kids are spending more time in their houses or apartments.

With school and extracurricular activities moved online or canceled, some outreach programs can’t provide safety nets in the same way they normally would, including in-person counseling and mentorship.

Violence affecting children is a longstanding problem here. A Post-Dispatch analysis of FBI homicide data last fall found that children in St. Louis have been killed at 10 times the national rate for decades.

Some of the shooting deaths of children in St. Louis this year include:

David Birchfield III, age 6: On Feb. 22 the kindergartner was killed when a gunman opened fire on his family as they drove through the Kingsway East neighborhood. His 9-year-old sister was critically wounded.

Timothy Lucas, age 14: Timothy, a middle school student from Washington Park, was shot in the chest while walking to a store in the Baden neighborhood Jan. 18.

Ean McMiller, age 16: Ean, who lived in the Baden neighborhood, was found bleeding from a gunshot wound March 24 on a sidewalk in the Carondelet neighborhood. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.

Larry Jordan, age 17: Larry was found fatally shot April 1 in the Bevo Mill neighborhood.

McKenzie Murphy, age 3: He was killed in an accidental shooting May 14 at a home near Fairground Park, police said.

Dorian Perkins, age 16: Dorian was killed May 14 in The Gate District neighborhood.

Malik Valley, age 15: Malik was shot in the chest May 23 near his home in the Vandeventer neighborhood.

Alani Hutchins, age 16: The Florissant teenager was one of two people found shot June 7 in the Bevo Mill neighborhood. She had been missing for over two months before her death, according to the Missouri Highway Patrol.

Jaquelle Brown, age 17: Jaquelle was shot and killed June 21 in the Dutchtown neighborhood.

Michael Goodlow III, age 4: Michael was shot and killed on July 4 in the Vandeventer neighborhood.

A 6-year-old boy was killed July 15 in an accidental shooting in south St. Louis, but has not been publicly identified. A 15-year-old has been charged with involuntary manslaughter.

Children injured or killed by gunfire in the St. Louis area in 2020

Coverage of children injured or killed in gunfire in the St. Louis area in 2020. 

Read previous coverage of children killed in the area in 2019

Children in St. Louis City city have been killed at 10 times the national rate for decades, according to a Post-Dispatch analysis of FBI homicide data.

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