St. Louis mayor's press conference on violence interrupted by gunfire

‘Oh, isn’t that wonderful’: Mayor of St. Louis doesn’t flinch when when her press conference on violent crime in her city is interrupted by gunfire

  • St. Louis mayor Tishaura Jones was speaking to the press about efforts to reduce violent crime when what sounded like gunshots went off  
  • Jones did not miss a beat, barely reacting and sarcastically saying ‘Oh isn’t that wonderful,’ before getting back to the topic at hand 
  • Jones explained that because she was born and raised in St. Louis, the sound of gunfire was nothing new to her
  • Mayor Jones and Lucas’ press conference comes as homicides have gone down in St. Louis City

The mayor of St. Louis did not flinch during a press conference when gunfire erupted nearby, saying she was unfortunately used to it.

Mayor Tishaura Jones was speaking to the press on Friday about her and Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas’ efforts to reduce violent crime following a roundtable discussion about public safety when what sounded like gunfire went off nearby.  

But Jones did not miss a beat and sarcastically responded ‘Oh isn’t that wonderful,’ before getting back to the topic at hand.  

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St. Louis mayor Tishaura Jones’ reaction when gunshots rang out during a press conference 

Mayor Tishaura Jones (right) was speaking to the press on Friday about her and South City with Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas (left) efforts to reduce violent crime

A St. Louis police officer walks past an evidence marker near the scene of a fatal shooting in June 

She explained that because she was born and raised in St. Louis, the sound of gunfire barely has an effect on her anymore. 

‘Well I hear gunshots in my neighborhood every night,’ she said. ‘My son and I fall asleep to the lullabies in the distance every night cause I’m the first mayor in over 20 years to be born, raised and still live in north St. Louis, and it’s unfortunate, yes I heard it, but I didn’t flinch because I guess it’s a part of my life now.’ 

Mayor Jones and Lucas’ roundtable with survivors of community violence comes as homicides have gone down in St. Louis.

This time last year St. Louis reported 263 homicides, while the city currently reported 161 so far in 2021, reported. 

The same goes for Kansas City, which saw a record year for homicides last year with 156, and is currently at 128 homicides. 

After the roundtable Jones reiterated her efforts to remedy the gun violence epidemic by allocating $11.5 million in the American Rescue Plan funding towards violence intervention programs & youth jobs.  

‘The advocates and survivors I heard from agreed: To improve public safety, we must treat gun violence like the public health crisis it is,’ she tweeted. ‘We must reverse decades of intentional disinvestment that have left entire communities across our city struggling.’

Jones was previously been accused by Republican leadership in Missouri of trying to ‘defund the police’ due to her efforts to reallocate $4 million of the St. Louis Police Department’s $170 million budget to other services she says will be used to ‘support law enforcement,’ reported.  

St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones tweeted about the incident, saying she often falls asleep to the sound of gunshots

Researchers found that gun violence increased in almost every state in America during the COVID-19 pandemic, with midwestern states suffering the largest increases

But despite the lowered homicide rates in St. Louis, there was a sharp rise in gun violence across the country during the COVID-19 pandemic last year, according to a new study. 

Researchers from the Pennsylvania State College of Medicine, in Hershey, found a 30 percent increase in gun-related injuries and deaths during the pandemic when compared to 2019.

Additionally, 49 of the 50 states saw a spike in gun violence with only Alaska recording a decrease during the first year of the pandemic.

The research team believes stressors caused by the pandemic and the increase in firearm purchases caused the spike in violence that has struck the nation.

There may be other factors tied to the rise in violence, though.

Violent crime has escalated in a number of major U.S. cities, such as New York, Chicago and Minneapolis, since the start of the pandemic, with the murder rate nationwide reaching its highest point since the mid-1990s.

Some law enforcement officers also say a decrease in police presence following Black Lives Matter and Defund the Police protests has allowed to crime to rise.

Shootings across America have not just been the result of gang activity with many being random acts of violence.

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