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Five homicides in first morning of 2020 in St. Louis

Five homicides in first morning of 2020 in St. Louis

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The New Year was less than an hour old Wednesday when St. Louis police were called to the scene of a shooting where three people were killed and a fourth injured.

Two other morning shootings resulted in two victims killed and another injured, police said.

At the first shooting scene, police found three people dead at South Jefferson Avenue and Crittenden Street at 12:19 a.m. The fourth victim had a gunshot wound to the leg and was reported to be conscious and breathing.

No details about the victims or circumstances were immediately available from police. The shooting happened in the Benton Park neighborhood.

At about 8:30 a.m., eight hours after the shooting, police still were on the scene. A Post-Dispatch photographer counted 11 rifle shell casings on and near the sidewalk at the intersection of Jefferson and Crittenden, and at least five bullet holes pocked a nearby fence. The officers at the scene provided no information and there was no information about exactly where the shooting had occurred. One officer said the shell casings appeared to be from 7.62 mm ammunition.

A woman who lives in a second-story apartment overlooking the shooting scene said she heard and saw some of the aftermath. She declined to give her name out of fear of retaliation, but said that before midnight she had heard many gunshots. “It was every caliber of gun going off,” she said.

After midnight, she said, she heard gunfire again. “I didn’t think nothing of it, then I heard this girl crying someone is dead,” she said.

The witness said she watched from her window as the coroner arrived and pulled victims from a red four-door car that bore signs of gunfire. She said she watched the scene for about three hours.

Leset Smith, 25, said one of the three people killed was her cousin. Police have not identified the victims, but Smith said her cousin was Sean Greenwood, 28, whose nickname was “Snack G.” She said he had been in the backseat of the car with his girlfriend, and that she saw a third body on the sidewalk in front of a vacant house in the 2900 block of Indiana Avenue. That’s about one block from the Jefferson and Crittenden intersection.

In the second deadly shooting, police were called to the 5400 block of Genevieve Avenue at 2:41 a.m. and found a male victim, dead from gunshot wounds. A second person at the scene was conscious and taken to a hospital.

By late morning, the city’s fifth shooting fatality had occurred. Shortly after 11 a.m., a male victim — yet to be publicly identified — was shot and killed on the 1200 block of North Euclid Avenue. Tearful relatives of the victim were outside at the scene. They declined to speak.

One neighbor, Tony Davis, said he woke up around 11 a.m., stepped outside to go to the store, and saw the scene. Though unsure of what happened, Davis said such events were not typical for the street, where he has lived for five years.

“We had none of this last year,” Davis said.

For 2019, there were 194 reported homicides in the city, including 11 children. That’s the second-highest number of homicides in the decade, trailing only the 205 homicides recorded in 2017.

David Carson and Janelle O’Dea of the Post-Dispatch contributed to this report.

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