2507-9 Hebert Street are both owned by Paul McKee’s Northside Regeneration.
The thirteenth anniversary technically happened yesterday, on the Sixteenth, but I wanted to finish up my series on Dubuque first. What’s one day nowadays, anyway, when days run into the next and weekends are meaningless? I was struggling to think of something to write about for today, until the evening of Saturday, May 9th, when I was settling in for the night and I checked the Post-Dispatch website. The headline stated “At Least 10 People Shot in the City of St. Louis on Saturday.”
The reporters at the Post-Dispatch are overall professional, and do a good job, but I couldn’t help but feel like I noticed a bit of sadness and some resignation in the words of this article.
“Gunfire appears to have done more damage in the city on Saturday than the coronavirus…”
“One man is dead, perhaps two.”
Even a historic pandemic can’t stop the one thing that has become more famous than its brick buildings: gun-related violence and mayhem. It got even worse on May 13th, when a 7-year-old was shot and wounded by a resident when the child and two 12-year-olds were breaking into a house. Out in St. Charles County, a 13-year-old boy died from his wounds after being shot weeks ago by a 16-year-old “who didn’t realize the gun was loaded.” There is no such thing as an unloaded gun: that is the first rule of gun handling and ownership.
It kept getting worse on May 14th. A 17-year-old tried to carjack a sedan, and when he failed, he hijacked a Metrobus. In one of the biggest understatements of the year, the Post-Dispatch reported, “It was unclear if the 17-year-old was driving the bus” when the police stopped it. But then, wait, the article was updated and it turns out he didn’t hijack the bus at all and was just simply riding it home. A 16-year-old was shot dead in the Gate District in here at some point, unrelated to the above incident, as well.
To end out the evening of the 14th, a 3-year-old was shot to death, apparently accidentally, though I would argue that there is no such thing as an accidental shooting of a child. Multiple conscious acts of criminal negligence have to be committed by an adult or many adults for it to get to the point where that happens.
As I often do, I looked up whether or not I have ever photographed or visited the 4000 block of Peck Street in the Fairgrounds neighborhood, where the life of the boy ended. It is one of the troubled parts of the City, and I do not go there often, and have not been in a long time. The last time was in June of 2019, when I took a drive down several of the streets parallel to North Grand Boulevard. It turns out I did in fact visit the block where the boy’s life ended almost a year later. I did not stay long, as I got a really bad feeling, really fast, the type I get from having living in various neighborhoods of drastically different safety over the last twenty years. Abandoned buildings, vacant lots, only a few occupied houses and a whole host of properties owned by out-of-town slumlords. This is where this boy lived and died in his very short life.