ST. LOUIS — St. Louis police are on the lookout for gunmen who are targeting gas stations in north St. Louis and opening fire near crowds of people.
Police released surveillance video Friday showing several people openly carrying and firing weapons at the Energy Express Travel Center Phillips 66 gas station located on North Broadway and Grand.
In a press conference, police chief John Hayden called the video highly disturbing and a public safety issue.
"We want this to stop. This is very dangerous. This is definitely a public safety concern," Hayden said.
The chief told 5 On Your Side people have been “cruising” for years but said it hasn't rose to the level of people randomly opening fire among a crowd of people.
Duff, who owns Duffman Towing and Recovery just blocks away from Energy Express, said the armed cruisers have started to impact businesses.
"It is hurting the businesses down here and a few of the other businesses in the area." he said. "I know they have to close down and everything."
In the last week, workers at the gas station say they've had to pick up more than 120 shell casings from the ground. The business has also had to chain off entrances for customers to make it harder for cruisers to gather in the parking lot.
"It's a big concern because it's too many people. It's too much involved. Everyone's safety is involved. It's just police need to do something about it," Duff said.
Police plan to be near the gas station starting on Friday to discourage "armed cruisers" from hanging out at the business.
“We’re going to have significant uniform presence for the next few weekends,” Hayden said. “This is something that occurs over Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings and we’re going to have much heavier presence.”
Police told 5 On Your Side that they have identified some of the suspects, but have not made many arrests.