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'They don't feel safe': Family of 16-year-old shot and killed by St. Louis Police speaks out

“He was a good kid...he was respectable," says the aunt of a 16-year-old boy shot and killed in North City.

ST. LOUIS — A 16-year-old is dead after an officer-involved shooting on Sunday near a Shell gas station on North Florissant Avenue.

St. Louis Police said around 11:30 p.m. Sunday teenager Darryl Ross was part of a group gathered in a gas station parking lot on N. Florissant Ave. 

North City residents said a lot of problems happen outside there in particular.

“It's a lot of crime in this area," a local resident said. "I live over here and you know, we see a lot of shootings."

"This gas station right here...there's always some kind of situation going on here,” the resident said. 

Police said Ross walked off "very quickly" into the alley behind the gas station when officers arrived, so they followed him  and announced their presence.

Detectives said Ross started running and tripped over a curb dropping a gun and as they came up to him he reached for the gun and they shot him.

Police said they tried to help Ross until Emergency Medical Service (EMS) arrived and he later died at the hospital.

Ross’s aunt, Janessa Logan, said the family is torn up by this loss.

“He was a good kid...he was respectable...he'd save any woman in his life, including me," Logan said. "We're single moms and he made sure he protected us."

"He fed us when we were hungry," Logan said. "If we needed help with the kids, he helped us."

Another resident said she feels like she can’t even go to the Family Dollar across the street without being concerned as bullets have hit the building in the past.

“Every time you turn around somebody got shot...you know...killed over there," Jean Ward, another resident, said. 

 "...and I know the people over here at Family Dollar are afraid and the customers that come in here...you got to be watchful...looking out...," Ward said.

Logan said as a long-time resident of North St. Louis she's seen a lot of disagreements between neighborhoods in the area and it's gotten to the point where nobody feels safe.

She lost her 15-year-old son Kyle Falker last year to gun violence.

“My son was at home, and a car pulled up that you couldn't even see inside of the car...so you don't know who's sitting in the car...and they sit and they wait, and they wait...and then just to get out and murder somebody," Logan said. 

"This situation may have been a little different, but there are a lot of young boys around here with guns...there are," Logan said. 

She asked but why? 

"Because they don't feel safe,” Logan said.

St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones said in a statement:

"I have been briefed on last night’s officer-involved shooting in Old North. Losing our youth to violence shows how our system has failed them time and time again. Reflecting on the circumstances that led up to this young man’s death breaks my heart, both as a mayor and as a mother of a teenage son. This comes just after a family lost their father, Bada Ali, in an officer-involved shooting last week.

Our communities rightfully have questions about these incidents. The Force Investigation Unit is handling both cases and will pass information on to the Circuit Attorney’s Office and then on to the Civilian Oversight Board. Officers involved have been placed on administrative duty. I have also directed the Public Safety Department to release body-worn camera footage where available to family as soon as possible. 

Alongside the St. Louis Board of Aldermen, my administration is working to strengthen oversight because building trust through transparency and accountability is essential. I remain fully committed to delivering effective oversight of our police department, as well as alternative responses that connect the right professionals to the right call for those experiencing mental health crises and similar challenges. Losing our youth to violence shows how our system has failed them time and time again. Reflecting on the circumstances that led up to this young man’s death breaks my heart, both as a mayor and as a mother of a teenage son."

St. Louis Police said the two officers involved in the shooting have a combined 18 years on the force. 

Neither of them was hurt.

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