ST. LOUIS — He’s the latest child to be shot and killed in the City of St. Louis this year.
Victrail Mora was shot to death in St. Louis’ Jeff-Vander-Lou neighborhood Wednesday night.
Someone fired shots on Gamble Street and Mora was found near the curb.
"Victrail got shot in the back of his head right here," Mora’s cousin, Miracle Hargrove said.
She and his sister were holding out hope that the shooting wasn’t deadly.
“Sad because at first we didn't know if he was going to live or if he was going to pass away. But like three seconds later they told us he didn't make it," Hargrove said.
Mora is now one of the 15 children to be shot and killed in the city so far in 2020.
"I don't got no more brothers that was my only brother," Makaya Bolden, Mora's sister, said.
According to 5 On Your Side data, there have been 97 children shot in the city this year.
In 2019, 12 of the recorded homicides in the city were children.
“Gun assaults have been on the rise in St. Louis as they have in a number of other cities since early to mid-June," Richard Rosenfeld, a professor of criminology at the University of Missouri-St. Louis said.
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Rosenfeld recently published a study that examined crime rates for about 27 different cities, including St. Louis.
“One connection you know it seems to me is the pandemic on police activity, reduced police activity can certainly contribute to an increase in crime, but there could also be community dynamics at play," he said.
The other dynamics are what organizations like Cure Violence are trying to combat.
Mora’s family said they’ll remember him as being a good kid who deserves justice.
"Victrail wasn't the type of person for somebody to do that to him, that's just crazy," Hargrove said.
CUT SHORT IN ST. LOUIS
"CUT SHORT: Unsolved Killings of St. Louis Children" is an initiative of KSDK 5 On Your Side and its community outreach program, "Project 5," to raise awareness of the unchecked violence against children in the City of St. Louis from the summer of 2019 to present.
We're dedicated to telling their stories, following the criminal investigations and shining a light on the reasons for gun violence in our city. We won't let up.
Please join us in this important campaign seeking justice for our youth by sharing these stories about their young lives cut short, reaching out to elected officials and supporting the worthy organizations in St. Louis working to make our city's neighborhoods safer places to raise families.