Since April, at least 12 children — ranging from ages 2 to 16 — have been killed in fatal gun violence incidents. All but one of the cases have languished with few updates and no suspects. In 2018, 19 kids were killed in the St. Louis metropolitan area; so far in 2019, at least 18 have been killed.
The shootings fit into a larger problem with homicides in cities like St. Louis, which has reported the nation’s highest big-city murder rate every year since 2014. The recent murders are affecting black children and teenagers living in predominantly black neighborhoods, several of which struggle with high crime rates and poverty.
The wave of deaths in St. Louis has seen increased national attention in recent days, due in part to an August 24 press conference, in which Mayor Lyda Krewson announced that police would offer a $100,000 in rewards for information in some of the cases. The money breaks down into $25,000 for each of four recent cases involving the death of a child under 10. The reward will be available until September 1.