St. Louis Alderman Calls for National Guard After Shooting
ST. LOUIS — A man was shot in the face twice and left on the edge of death Saturday afternoon after an alleyway confrontation that started when the suspect wouldn’t move his car, police said.
The boldness of the crime, on a sunny spring day as sports fans flocked downtown, just 3 miles south, led the neighborhood’s alderman to call for deployment of the Missouri National Guard before the summer hits and crime spikes.
“I’m done waiting,” said Alderman Brandon Bosley of the 3rd Ward. “Before it gets too bad, we need to do something measurable. Extra hands. Extra guns. Guns bigger than the ones on the street.”
Bosley said he and the city Board of Aldermen’s black caucus had been talking for weeks about petitioning Missouri Gov. Mike Parson. He said he hoped to persuade the board to pass a resolution calling on Parson to send troops to the worst city neighborhoods.
“We’re going to have tanks on every damn corner,” Bosley said. “These people have to know we’re not playing anymore.”
The call for state help would not be entirely without precedent. Gov. Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency in 2014 and activated the Guard in anticipation of a grand jury announcement regarding the fatal shooting in Ferguson of 18-year-old Michael Brown.
And Gov. Eric Greitens, in 2017, sent the Missouri Highway Patrol to police St. Louis interstates, hoping to free city officers to focus on troubled neighborhoods. At times, troopers even backed up city police on calls.
Still, the deployment of Guard troops for the day-to-day policing of city streets in St. Louis would be very unusual.
Parson could not be reached for comment.
St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson declined to address Bosley’s plea. But she called the shooting tragic and said she was sad for the victim and his family.
“Guns are too often used to settle differences,” Krewson said in a statement.
Police were called to the Saturday shooting just after 3:30 p.m.
Police Lt. Ken Lammert said a man in a silver SUV was driving down an alleyway but had to stop when he saw a black car blocking the alley exit.
The SUV driver, whom police did not identify, honked, and then yelled out his window, asking the man if he was going to move his car.
The man declined, and both men got out of their cars. Lammert didn’t know exactly what happened next, but the man in the black car soon fired six or seven shots through the front of the SUV, Lammert said, striking the driver two or three times. The gunman sped away.
The SUV driver was alive when he was loaded into the ambulance, Lammert said, but just barely.
A neighbor, Donald Kenny, 50, said he saw a black Audi with tinted windows drive away.
“All they do is shoot,” Kenny said. “You can’t even go take your trash out without thinking about getting shot.”
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