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North St. Louis neighborhoods fire back against criminals

By Adam Allington, St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis, MO – Residents of the 21st Ward in North St. Louis are reeling after a weekend of violence that included seven shootings and two homicides.

Residents of the ward held a prayer vigil Monday.

Police Captain Mary Warnecke is the Commander of the 6th District. She says the information they've received from the victims so far has not provided any connections to the shootings.

"Some may very well be related, some may not be related, its really way too early in the investigation. We ask anyone who has any kind of information to please call us. We need the community's help; we need the community's input," Warnecke said.

21st Ward Alderman Antonio French says his ward is taking matters into its own hands, forming one hundred "block watch units" to help residents watch out for each other.

"The other thing we're doing is trying to put some security cameras throughout the ward to help give the police an added tool to catch some of the trouble-makers in our community. It's a small percentage of folks over here who are causing the trouble. And we need to the give the police some added tools to be able to arrest some of these folks and keep them away," French said.

State Representative Jamilah Nasheed of St. Louis has also called on police to launch a two-week crackdown on gang violence in the 21st Ward area.