ST. LOUIS — The City of St. Louis is off to a violent start of the new year. Eight people have been shot and killed since 12 a.m. on New Year’s Day.
At this same time in 2019, there were zero homicides. In 2019, the first homicide happened on Jan. 3. Two people were killed in the 5600 block of Minerva Avenue.
Three men were shot and killed 18 minutes into 2020. Shemar Carnell, 24, 21-year-old Deandre Davis and 23-year-old Karmah Richmond were found shot to death in St. Louis’ Benton Park neighborhood. Two other men were injured in the shooting. Police recovered three guns from the scene.
A few hours later, around 2:40 a.m., a man was found shot to death next to a car in the 5400 block of Genevieve. Another man was also found shot, he was transported to a hospital in critical condition. The man who was killed has been identified as 39-year-old Thomas Wherry.
A 36-year-old man was found shot to death around 11 a.m. on New Year’s Day in the 1200 block of N. Euclid. He’s been identified as Darrell Smith. Police said he was found in the street with gunshot wounds.
A 33-year-old man was found shot to death in St. Louis’ Dutchtown neighborhood around 2:15 a.m. on Jan. 2. Johnnie Lee Anderson Jr. was found in between two houses in the 4100 block of Minnesota with multiple gunshot wounds. He was pronounced dead at the scene. In 2019, crime significantly increased in the Dutchtown neighborhood.
Thursday afternoon, officers responded to Dewey Avenue and Osceola Street around 12:30 p.m. where a man was found shot to death. This is also in the Dutchtown neighborhood. He's been identified as 32-year-old Jason Dudly.
On Friday, police responded to a fatal shooting on Washington Avenue.
Anyone with information on any of the fatal shootings should contact St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department’s Homicide Division at 314-444-5371 or to remain anonymous and possibly receive a reward contact CrimeStoppers at 866-371-8477.
St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department Chief John Hayden said the fatal shootings were not random acts of violence. In the four most recent shooting deaths, Hayden said one was drug-related and three were personal disputes.
“Those are controllable in the sense that there is no such thing as a safe drug deal,” Hayden said. “And, just because you are disagreeing with someone doesn’t mean you have to pull out a gun. Some of those are self-checks.”
Hayden said he will continue his focus on policing neighborhoods that he calls open-air drug markets, and the neighborhoods that he has identified as the most violent, often referred to as “Hayden’s Rectangle”.
“We have a very tragic start to the first part of the year, but I’m hopeful for arrests.”
A spokesperson said they do not believe any of the shootings are related.
Police said between 10 p.m. on Dec. 31, 2019 and 2 a.m. on New Year’s Day, they received 501 calls for service relative to shots being fired. A spokesperson said some of the calls may overlap as there could have been multiple calls for the same incident.