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St. Louis County Prosecutors File Murder Charges In Death of 13-Year-Old Boy

Clifford Swan III was shot and killed in North St. Louis County on September 12, 2019. Swan was 13 years old. September 13, 2019
Clifford Swan Sr.

St. Louis County prosecutors charged a St. Louis man with murder in the death of 13-year-old Clifford Swan III.

Jabari Lowery, 18, faces charges of first-degree murder and armed criminal action. Authorities say Lowery shot Swan on Thursday as he and two other people walked through an apartment complex on Oak Parkway Lane in north St. Louis County. 

Emergency personnel rushed Swan to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead shortly after. 

"I just feel like my son was stolen from me,” said Clifford Swan Sr., the boy's father. “He was nothing but a baby." 

Lowery is being held on $500,000 cash bond. Prosecutors also charged a 17-year-old male with one count of third-degree assault for striking officers who were on the scene. According to police, officers were injured while taking the 17-year-old into custody on Friday. He’s being held on $50,000 cash bond.

More than a dozen children in St. Louis and the county have been killed by gun violence since April. 

Swan’s death comes less than 24 hours after a 3-year-old accidentally shot himself in the head with his father's gun. Prosecutors have charged Rodney March II, 28, with endangering the welfare of a child for leaving the gun, a loaded .40-caliber Glock, within the reach of his son.

“You may notice some of the same faces that were at today’s earlier scene where a 3-year-old was shot and killed,” said County Police spokesman Sgt. Benjamin Granda at a Thursday press conference streamed by 5 On Your Side. “These types of things wear on the community, and they’re a very heavy burden to the officers who are here doing the best they can.”

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Chad is a general assignment reporter at St. Louis Public Radio.