ST. LOUIS — A coalition of local and federal law enforcement will soon target St. Louis following a surge of gun violence in the city.
It's all in an effort to crack down on criminals and strengthen public safety.
The group of federal ATF agents and local officers will focus on the worst of St. Louis neighborhoods. The team is expected to investigate offenders wanted for things like gang crimes, burglaries of gun stores, and carjackings.
They're hoping to cut down on crimes, like the latest one Wednesday morning in North St. Louis.
Police said just before 6:30 Wednesday morning a gunman opened fire on a teenager on Lucille Avenue in the Walnut Park West neighborhood. She was hit and the face and chest. Friends and family told 5 On Your Side she was pregnant, but she and the baby are expected to be OK.
It's the latest shooting in a long list of violence in the city. In the past five months, St. Louis has had dozens of shootings and about 50 murders.
Just this Monday, officers said someone shot five men on Shreve avenue. Three of the men died at the scene. The fourth died at the hospital. Another man remains hospitalized.
Mayor Lyda Krewson said in the future she hopes to put more officers on the streets to track down gun criminals and keep them locked up.
"We would love to have more police officers on the police department. We are over a hundred officers short," she said.
St. Louis public safety director Judge Edwards said in July a federal ATF strike force will be coming to fight crime. It's a new initiative that along with others already in place is intended to combat the growing number of gun crimes in St. Louis. Their mission will be to disrupt and get rid of major criminal activity and remove guns from the hands of dangerous people.
The task force will be one of only four in the country. Memphis was the first, followed by Chicago. The United States federal attorney's office will also be heavily involved in the effort.