ST. LOUIS — Dozens of shots were fired in St. Louis’ Downtown West neighborhood early Wednesday morning. One resident said the shots sounded like a machine gun and lasted for as long as two or three minutes.
Police said the shootings happened at around 12:30 a.m. near 20th Street and Washington Avenue.
Police said their mobile reserve units reported hearing “a hundred” gunshots. Officers believe there were groups at separate parties involved and people were feuding and shooting at each other.
Police said a 20-year-old woman was found in the area of 20th Street and Washington Avenue. Police said she was a passenger in a car that was hit by gunfire near the scene of the shooting.
She was taken to the hospital for treatment. The driver was not injured.
Officers found another victim with a gunshot wound to his foot. He was also taken to a hospital for treatment. Police said he was also one of the suspects in the shooting.
5 On Your Side spoke to several people in the area who say they're at the point of wanting to move out.
"This honestly has to stop," area business owner Nicole Jenkins said. "I grew up in the City of St. Louis and I've never seen it like this."
Jenkins's concerns were echoed by many of the other area business owners.
"It's disheartening because you want your customers to feel safe," Ashanti Moorehead said.
Jenkins said she wants more action, like increased police presence, and more surveillance.
"I think there needs to be officers on feet for what needs to take place and occur here," Jenkins said.
At the end of the day, she said her passion is serving her clients. She said if her safety and theirs are at risk, it's time to take her passion and move it somewhere else.
“I caution the investigation is very preliminary at this juncture,” said St. Louis Police Lt. Mathew Karnoski. “There were two groups of individuals shooting at each other. We are in the midst of recovering dozens and dozens of shell casings and so far, we have recovered three firearms and arrested two people.”
Police said witnesses said the parties were hosted at Airbnb rentals.
A spokesperson for Airbnb noted there were no active listings or reservations at either property.
Karknoski said two handguns were recovered at the scene.
“One has been outfitted with a device to make it a fully automatic weapon, and we’ve also recovered a 223 AR-style pistol,” he said.
Police also seized a "large quantity" of suspected narcotics from the scene.
Downtown resident Dale Carney lives at the intersection.
“I was almost asleep and heard the gunfire,” said Carney. “I basically dove under the bed. I called 911 right away and got through in a second, luckily. I told the lady 20th and Washington, gunfire. Lots of gunfire. When I was talking to them, it was still going off, so I’m sure they probably heard it over my phone.”