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St. Louis officials prepared for summer violence after 10 weekend shootings

Chief Robert Tracy, of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, speaks about homicide rates on Monday, June 3, 2024, at the police department’s headquarters in Downtown West.
Sophie Proe
St. Louis Public Radio
St. Louis Police Chief Robert Tracy addresses the media about a violent weekend on Monday at the police department’s headquarters in Downtown West.

St. Louis officials say they are prepared to combat any seasonal spike in violence, after 17 people were shot over the weekend — three of them fatally — in 10 separate cases.

“We are prepared for the summer,” Police Chief Robert Tracy said Monday at a news conference about the weekend violence. “Patrols have increased across the city with the department’s authorized overtime, and there's competitive secondary shifts for our officers throughout the city.”

There appear to be no connections among the shootings, Tracy said. Police have identified a possible suspect in one of the killings, on the nightlife hot spot of Washington Avenue, and said they have promising leads in the other two fatal shootings.

In addition to having an increased police presence, the city plans to keep two recreation centers open until midnight on Friday and Saturday nights to give people older than 13 a safe place to go.

Its Office of Violence Prevention will host two events for young Black men, the victims and perpetrators of most of the city's homicides.

"We've seen a lot of really great success in there,” said Connor Kerrigan, a spokesman for Mayor Tishaura Jones. “They are determined to prevent and intervene in crime before it happens."

Rachel is the justice correspondent at St. Louis Public Radio.