ST. LOUIS, MO. (KPLR) – A stabbing that left a man dead and a shooting that injured another, both on Laclede’s Landing over the weekend, have the popular St. Louis entertainment district defending its reputation. And St. Louis’ police chief is on board, saying the incidents should not define the area.
John Clark of the Laclede’s Landing Community Improvement District says news of the two violent incidents were upsetting and more.
“Frustrating for sure. The first thing you think about is how you fix it, and how does it go, you can’t fix stupid?”
The “stupid” he’s referring to is the alcohol fueled behavior police say was behind both incidents. St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson says the problems are more indicative of booze than any specific part of town.
“I don’t see it as a pattern as specific to the Landing,” Dotson said. “Incidents happen in the Landing. Incidents happen in other parts of the city.
“Just because there are bars and there are 3am bars doesn’t mean there are going to be problems. The problems come when the individuals over consume and get into fights and confrontations and each other.”
Clark says news of what happened immediately had him in “problem solving” mode.
“You just go to task to figure out how do you fix this kind of stuff? There’s ways to do it. I’ve met with police today. I‘ve talked to the excise commissioner.”
But one thing not being discussed is adding police presence. Police say it’s already there. Between officers on patrol and officers on secondary duty in various businesses, there were seventeen police officers within blocks of the incidents. Dotson says the businesses are already doing plenty.
“They do employ secondary officers,” he said. “They have put in place traffic control devices. They have partnered with Lumiere, the casino, they have partnered with other businesses, to try and create a safe environment. Again it comes down to individual behavior.”
Officials hoped the attention to the area would be created by $1.5 million being spent on smoothing out the notorious cobblestone streets, and deals in the works to bring in more residential space. That wasn’t the case Monday, but they believe, in the long run, those sort of things will push aside what they say are isolated incidents.
“They really were two incidents that were just late night dumb incidents,” Clark said.