ST. LOUIS — The number of shootings involving children in St. Louis continues to grow. Three teenagers were shot Thursday, bringing the total to 50 young people in their teens or even younger shot this year.
Thursday's shootings were spread out across the city, involving two 17-year-old boys and a 16-year-old girl. All the teens are in stable condition after being shot.
According to police reports, one of the 17-year-old boys was shot on Blase Avenue in the Baden neighborhood. He told police he was shot by someone he knew. The 17-year-old had gotten into an argument when the person pulled out a gun and fired, injuring the boy's hand and back.
The other 17-year-old boy was shot on Farlan Avenue in the Penrose area while driving around at 2 a.m., according to police. He was dropped off at an area hospital with multiple gunshot wounds.
The report for the 16-year-old girl said she was standing outside on Lasalle Street north of Lafayette Park when she heard gunshots and then felt pain. EMS transported her to the hospital for a gunshot wound to the backside.
City leaders said with all the energy surrounding the Black community right now, it is time for change.
"We have the momentum right now," James Clark with the Urban League told 5 On Your Side, "We have to take this same energy into our neighborhoods and we have to begin to deal with the violence that has gripped our race for far too long."
Clark said the Urban League is beginning a strong push for churches and individuals to organize block units to help identify youth and families in need.
"Only one way to turn it around. You've got to touch them. You've got to engage them. You've got to make them believe in themselves and turn them on to the possibilities," Clark explained. "The sooner we do that, the sooner we can begin to turn St. Louis around.
"CUT SHORT: Unsolved Killings of St. Louis Children" is an initiative of KSDK 5 On Your Side and its community outreach program, "Project 5," to raise awareness of the unchecked violence against children in the city of St. Louis from the summer of 2019 to present.
We're dedicated to telling their stories, following the criminal investigations and shining a light on the reasons for gun violence in our city. We won't let up.
Please join us in this important campaign seeking justice for our youth by sharing these stories about their young lives cut short, reaching out to elected officials and supporting the worthy organizations in St. Louis working to make our city's neighborhoods safer places to raise families.
Editor's note: This report included an incorrect number of children 17 and under shot in St. Louis in 2020. It has been revised to reflect the correct total as of the date of initial publication.