ST. LOUIS — An arrest has been made in the fatal shooting of a 16-year-old Eureka sophomore, St. Louis police announced Friday. They believe the suspect was also involved in the fatal shooting of a woman a week prior, as well as two other shootings in the city.
The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department announced Friday that a 22-year-old man had been arrested in the cases and they would be applying for the following charges: two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of first-degree assault and four counts of armed criminal action.
5 On Your Side is not naming the suspect as he has not yet been formally charged.
Kyierah Jeffries, a 16-year-old girl who attended Eureka High School, was shot in the middle of the day Saturday in south St. Louis, on Minnesota Avenue near Bellerive Boulevard.
When emergency crews first arrived, she was in and out of consciousness with a gunshot wound to the stomach. When Kyierah arrived at the hospital, she was no longer conscious or breathing. She died from her injuries a short time later, police said.
The department also said the man is a suspect in the death of 25-year-old Arriell Dixon. On May 5, Dixon was found shot outside on the 4200 block of Obear Avenue. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
The man now accused in their deaths is also suspected in two shootings from last year.
On May 7, 2021, a woman in her 40s jumped out of the window of a vacant home on the 1900 block of Coleman Street after being shot. She was rushed to the hospital with multiple gunshot wounds and had apparent blunt-force trauma to her face from being beaten. At the time, she couldn't give police a statement due her severe injuries and heavy sedation.
And on June 15, 2021, a 54-year-old man was shot at Theodosia and Academy avenues. The victim told police he had just dropped off a woman when the suspect came to his driver-side window. An argument ensued, and the suspect shot the man and left in a navy sedan.
The man was taken to an area hospital for a gunshot wound to his head and neck area.
Police have not provided an update on the conditions of the surviving victims.
5 On Your Side spoke to Kierah's family Monday. A crisis response team from the Rockwood School District had visited the home to help them through their grief.
"I just want to know why. Why my sister?!" her older sister cried out. "She was a baby. These people are very wicked killing kids. My sister did nothing to no one out here. She tried to be the sweetest person that she can be."
Her mother, Cheryl Ford, said Kyierah was a fighter from the day she was born.
"She had problems when she was born and in the hospital for a month," Ford said. "...She's my fighter, she's been fighting and she went out fighting."
St. Louis police will apply for charges with the St. Louis Circuit Attorney's Office.
"We commend our officers and detectives for their diligent work on solving these cases," the department said in its Friday statement announcing the arrest.
This is a developing story. It will be updated as more information becomes available.
Resources for crime victims:
If you have been a victim of a crime or know someone who has been, 5 On Your Side has compiled a list of resources.
Better Family Life is a nonprofit community development organization working to “stabilize inner-city neighborhoods.” One aspect of its mission is a gun violence de-escalation program.
To learn more, call 314-381-8200 or visit https://www.betterfamilylife.org/
Life Outside of Violence “helps those harmed by stabbing, gunshot or assault receive the treatment, support and resources they need to find alternatives to end the cycle of violence.”
To learn more, call 314-327-6697 or email: ProjectLOV@WUSTL.edu
The Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis has an anti-crime program called “Safety Net for Youth Initiative,” which is a joint partnership with Saint Louis Public Schools to provide services to at-risk youth.
To learn more, visit https://www.ulstl.com/anti-crime-initiative.html
Cure Violence is an international organization that has recently launched in a handful of St. Louis neighborhoods. Violence interrupters are trained to deescalate violent situations within their own communities. To learn more, visit https://cvg.org/