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'COVID-19 not stopping crime' | St. Louis leaders say Cure Violence still on track despite pandemic

"We're outpacing last year in the number of homicides and the number of shootings," said Reed, adding that the program is needed now more than ever

ST. LOUIS — The City of St. Louis is under a stay-at-home order, but that doesn't mean crime has come to a standstill, according to one leader in the city.

"So, we see less activity on the street, but we see the same amount of activity as it relates to the number of shootings that are happening in our community, also the number of homicides," said Board of Alderman President Lewis Reed.

Monday, as some practiced social distancing, St. Louis city officers were called to two shootings about an hour apart. The first left two teenagers critically injured on Obear. The second injured two people in the city's West End neighborhood, and last Thursday a man was killed at a QuikTrip on Gravois.

"We're outpacing last year in the number of homicides and the number of shootings," said Reed.

RELATED: Cure Violence program one step closer to starting in St. Louis

He added that because of this, the city's Cure Violence program is needed now more than ever.

"So, the guy that created Cure Violence was formally the head of the World Health Organization. So, he's taking some of those same principles that you use to address a pandemic and put those in play to addressing the issues of violence," explained Reed.

Cure Violence is the city's response to a deadly few years. The program is expected to start as planned this April.

"We cannot afford to have a delay," said Reed.

RELATED: St. Louis takes step forward with Cure Violence program, eyeing April launch

He said they have been doing everything virtually to keep the program on task and asked those on the street to be mindful; this virus knows no bounds.

"For the people that are still out in the streets doing whatever, I don't care what age you are, what your health circumstances are, if you're not in a high-risk group, what we're finding out right now is everyone is in a high-risk group," he said. "For some of the teenage kids that are out here still doing the things in the streets that they’re doing, you may bring something back home to your grandparents or your parents, or aunts and uncles, that ends up being a death sentence to them.”

RELATED: St. Louis COVID-19 cases jump to 37, an increase of 15

5 On Your Side reached out to Mayor Lyda Krewson's office for comment. They sent this statement.

"The City of St. Louis remains committed to the implementation of Cure Violence. At this time, we are working to determine the impact the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak might have on the upcoming rollout. As always, but especially during this challenging and uncertain time, the health and safety of everyone in the City is paramount."

RELATED: Everything we know about coronavirus in the St. Louis area

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