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Quick Action Follows Incidents on Delmar Loop

Officials from University City and the city of St. Louis met Sunday to discuss Saturday's fight and shootings.

Almost a year after Delmar Loop business owners took their to the , another incident Saturday brings the issue back to the forefront. 

A crowd of teenagers fought in the area Saturday night, leaving two with gunshot wounds. The incidents happened on Delmar Blvd. in the city of St. Louis. By Sunday evening, people were shopping and eating in the Loop, with no indication of the turmoil of 24 hours earlier. 

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, police responded around 8:38 p.m. to the area of Skinker and Delmar boulevards, where a crowd of about 200 to 300 youths had congregated. Fights broke out, and one person fired shots into the air, police said.

Then, after 11 p.m., shots were fired in Church's Chicken's parking lot at the corner of Delmar and Skinker.

One victim was shot in the arm and the other in the abdomen. A 19 year old is in critical condition and a 17 year old in stable condition, Fox 2 News reported Sunday.

Officials from University City and the City of St. Louis met Sunday with Loop business owners. Mayor Shelley Welsch and St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay stressed the safety of the Loop area. 

KMOX reported that Joe Edwards, owner of and , said at Sunday's press conference that this was an isolated incident.

"Don’t let one night paint a picture that’s inaccurate. Enjoy The Loop," Edwards said. "Don’t be held hostage by the fact that a couple of kids got a bit out of hand.”

Curfews

St. Louis and University City have curfews for for those under 16. In University City the curfew 9 p.m. and in St. Louis the curfew is 11 p.m. on weekdays and midnight on weekends.

Surveillance Cameras

A project to put surveillance cameras up in the Loop is progressing and the installation of the first cameras is expected by June. 

U City's Director of Public Works, Parks and Forestry Richard Wilson  on the progress of the $160,000 system at its last meeting in March.

The cameras will be attached to buildings and will provide  with a view of the street and public parking lots. While the cameras had been in the works for years, business owners , which involved hundreds of unruly young people.

Social Media

The incident sparked conversations on Facebook and Twitter Sunday. Bill Schwulst used Storify to capture conversations on the incident. To read over comments, Facebook posts and Tweets on the topic, click here.

George Lenard April 03, 2012 at 03:00 AM
Jeff: Thanks (not) for turning discussion of a serious community issue into an election-eve campaign commercial. John, Earl, and Lynda: thanks for constructive suggestions. Meaningful activities and places to go besides the streets don't prevent violence by bad actors, but they can reduce the size of the crowds of teens roaming the Loop. I know many people would volunteer to provide adult supervision at a youth center. I'm not sure why the police were taken by surprise this time, but my hope and prediction is we'll now see the same pattern as last year: very tough and visible policing of teens in the Loop, with a substantial deterrent effect -- to the point that even the best-behaved kids have little interest in going there on weekend evenings. Sad, but maybe necessary.
Earl Higgins April 03, 2012 at 02:22 PM
The problem as I see it is that different curfew times apply to "The City (StL)" and "University City". What happens at 9 PM is, University City police politely ask younger teens to exit University City, which they by and large do. Of course, their jurisdiction ends at Limits Avenue, so there is a compression effect pushing a "wave" of teens towards the Delmar-Skinker intersection. This creates a "perfect storm" for trouble. If you look back, this is exactly where the worst problems have happened. Somehow there really needs to be uniform curfew applied East AND West of Limits Avenue. As much as anything, this is a failure of governance. I'm not saying curfew is the only answer, but it is a critical component of a larger plan.
Patricia Kyle Dennis April 03, 2012 at 02:41 PM
As a resident of the East Loop, I wrote to Alderman Lyda Krewson this morning with my concerns. I urge all of you who are following this thread to write to your neighborhood government representatives and let them know that we want their help in finding a solution. It is US, the adults, who need to take responsibility for providing teenagers with what they need while setting appropriate and effective limits.
Billy Frank Thornton April 04, 2012 at 06:00 AM
The business community is always complaining about disorderly conduct in the Loop...while hundreds of out of control youth is summed up as an isolated incident. This isolated incident will not be the last.
Chris Strawn April 07, 2012 at 11:07 PM
This incident betrays more than the fact that teens need more places to go. The fact that some of these teens were carrying FIREARMS and were out looking to fight is the deeper and far more vexing issue. Kids growing up in communities where parents are not suficiently involved in their lives, and in a culture where violence and easy money, rather than academic success, is celebrated, are the underlaying problems. And yes, poverty is a factor, but so is the local culture.

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