Crime

A Washington Park man wanted kids to stop shooting fireworks. Four people ended up shot.

If you witness a crime, here’s what to do

Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity.
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Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity.

Four people were injured by gunfire in Washington Park shortly before 9 p.m. Tuesday during an incident police could describe only as “bizarre.”

The shooter, a 16-year-old, the teen’s father, and a 12-year-old bystander were among those injured. Pending charges, police have not identified the alleged shooter, who as of Wednesday was at a St. Louis hospital.

Allen Bonds, chief of the Washington Park Police Department, said officers were sent to the 4700 block of Caseyville Avenue at 9:21 p.m. after two children, ages 6 and 7, reported that a man pulled a gun on them while they were setting off fireworks in front of his house.

A pair of brothers, ages 16 and 24 years old, became embroiled in the situation when the two small children waved them down as they made their way by car to their parents’ tire shop at the corner of 47th Street and Caseyville Avenue.

“When they asked the guy about what the children said happened, he ran toward their vehicle and opened fire,” Bonds said.

The 16-year-old was struck in the back, stomach and both legs while he sat in the car’s passenger seat. He was in surgery at an area hospital as of 3 a.m. Wednesday, Bonds said.

A 12-year-old nearby also was shot multiple times, Bonds said.

The driver of the car continued toward his parents’ tire shop with his injured brother and the two children as the shooter dragged the bleeding 12-year-old inside his house, Bonds said.

“Then he ran up the street while continuing to shoot,” Bonds said.

Police believe the older brother and the two children ran into the shop and notified the parents that the 16-year-old had been shot. As he investigated the source of the gunfire, the boy’s father was hit, Bonds said.

“The mother ran out and jumped into the car to get her son to the hospital. The dad ran out of the shop to see where the shots were coming from and he was struck in the leg,” he said.

Someone from the tire shop returned fire, striking the shooter at least four times, Bonds said. The shooter has not yet been identified, pending charges.

The tire shop owner was treated and released, Bonds said.

“The mother of the 16-year-old was met at the JJK Center by an ambulance who transported the 16-year-old to the hospital,” Bonds said.

The 12-year-old was shot three times in his lower extremities, Bonds said. The child was conscious and talking when he left the scene in an ambulance.

Bonds said police are continuing to investigate the shooting. “It’s just weird and bizarre,” he said.

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