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Man gunned down in gangway in Gravois Park neighborhood is year's 200th homicide victim

Man gunned down in gangway in Gravois Park neighborhood is year's 200th homicide victim

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ST. LOUIS — A man killed early Thursday after being shot several times in a gangway between buildings has been identified as 42-year-old Guyton Thomas.

Thomas’ death became the 200th homicide of the year in St. Louis. This time last year, the city had 153 homicides, St. Louis police Officer Michelle Woodling said.

Thomas was shot about 1 a.m. Thursday in the 2700 block of Miami Street. He lived in the 300 block of Eichelberger Street. The scene was in the city’s Gravois Park neighborhood, which has seen a jump in violent crime in the last six months.

Police had no suspects.

Officers were called to the block of Miami for a suspicious person. They found Thomas in a gangway between two residences. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

In the last 50 years, St. Louis has reached or exceeded 200 murders in a single year 18 times. Most recently, the city had more than 200 homicides in 2017, with 205 murders.

But as the Post-Dispatch reported Sunday, if the pace of killings continues this year, St. Louis will reach an ignoble milestone. Over the past decade, the city has averaged 50 homicides in the last four months of the year, according to police statistics. If that holds true, St. Louis will see about 240 homicides in 2020, the highest in 25 years.

The highest number of killings in a single year in St. Louis was 267 in 1993, when the city had some 387,000 residents. That means the homicide rate — homicides per 100,000 people — was 69 that year. But the population of St. Louis has continued to dwindle over the decades, settling now at just over 300,000. The result this year is a homicide rate that’s projected to be 79, a startling number that appears to exceed the rate for any other large U.S. city.

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