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North St. Louis clinic closes on weekends, citing gun violence

A file photo of North City Urgent Care, at 6113 Ridge Avenue in north St. Louis City.
Durrie Bouscaren | St. Louis Public Radio
A file photo of North City Urgent Care, at 6113 Ridge Avenue in north St. Louis.

Violence in north St. Louis is prompting one of the few urgent care clinics in the area to close on the weekends.

A gun battle outside the doors of North City Urgent Care on a Saturday last month was the last straw, said Dr. Sonny Sagar, its medical director. The clinic, at 6113 Ridge Ave., sits in the Hamilton Heights neighborhood and is one of just a few urgent care facilities in the area.

“It is saddening for any business to have to shutter on certain days or certain hours based on violence,”  Sagar said. “We just have to do what we feel is right.”

Cinic personnel decided to leave after hearing a series of shots outside. Sagar said he heard about the shots while out of town on a son’s hiking trip.

“One of the staff members saw somebody crouching behind a car with what looked like a gun,” he said. “In the interest of my employees' safety, we decided to close.”
St. Louis police confirmed reports of shots fired in the area on May 21, but they did not locate any victims.

“I do think this community needs health care seven days a week. They need a place they can go that’s close to where they are living, within walking distance for a lot of our clients,” said Kayla Krueger, a nurse practitioner for the clinic.

“Not having that open on the weekends is really unfortunate, I think, for the community,” she said.

North City Urgent Care remains open between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Follow Durrie on Twitter: @durrieB