Police chief assures residents about downtown safety
By Rachel Lippmann, KWMU
St. Louis, MO – St. Louis police will be concentrating more officers in the Downtown West neighborhood following a Monday homicide at a popular nightspot.
Thirty-two-year-old Michael Dolan, a bartender at Maggie O'Brien's was shot and killed during an apparent robbery. Michael Sack with the police department said five people were in the restaurant around 10:40 Monday night when two black males in their late 20s or early 30s who had been customers at the bar earlier in the night re-entered, both carrying handguns. The men herded the three employees and two customers toward the bar area and ordered them to lie down, Sack said. At some point, Dolan got up and ran to the back of the establishment, where he was shot.
Sack said it's unclear whether the suspects made off with any money. The department is also investigating whether a second homicide may be connected. Around midnight, a black male was brought to St. Louis Children's Hospital suffering from a gunshot wound - he also later died.
The shooting at Maggie O'Brien's was the kind of event the department prays won't happen in downtown St. Louis, police chief Daniel Isom said.
"But even with this incident, this is only one incident out of many thousands of people who come downtown to the city of St. Louis," he said. "Certainly we always want more officers, and we think we could do a better job with more, but right now, I think what we have is sufficient as a matter of deploying our resources in the area where we have the most impact."
Monday's murder is the fourth in the Downtown West neighborhood this year, which is bounded by Tucker, Cole, Chouteau and Jefferson streets. That's two more than last year at this time. But overall, homicides are down 20 percent from the same period last year.