ST. LOUIS — Tawanda Brand was about to serve lunch to the kids in her care at a Hamilton Heights daycare Monday when a bullet flew through the front of the building and into a room full of children.

“My first instinct was the kids. We wanted to make sure that all of our kids were safe,” Brand said.

She got the kids on the ground, made sure everyone was OK, then she started to make the calls, first to police and her boss, then parents. Despite the danger, she said parents were supportive of the small business, which reopened for business as usual Tuesday.

“All of our kids came back. Everybody,” Brand said. “We had some that weren't here yesterday, they even came today.”

But the peace didn't last long. There was a deadly shooting across the street from Little Explorers Learning Center Tuesday morning.

And other deadly shooting just a few blocks farther. The violence prompted police to put up a mobile surveillance camera unit.

Owner Tess Trice says despite the scare Monday, moving is not an option.

“This area needs a quality daycare,” Trice said. “We are a safe environment. We need to stay here for the community.”

Trice said most of her customers live in this area, they know about the crime rates here. But she is still optimistic in the face of the violence, especially with an increased police presence Tuesday.

“We just need to stop the violence. We need to do better. We have got to do better,” Trice said.

Other local stories