Honor student loses eye in drive-by shooting

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ST. LOUIS (KTVI) – A man is still on the run after a drive-by shooting at a corner store in St. Louis.

He hit an unintended target:  Latasha Williams, 14.

Friday had been a happy day for Williams, a Vashon freshma, her sister, Daja, 12, a 7th grader.

“Everyone was giving her dollars and telling her good job,” said their aunt, Shantell Barge.

Progess reports had just come home from school and people around the neighborhood were rewarding the girls for their high marks.

They went to the M.V. Market at 20th and Ferry in North St. Louis to buy snacks to celebrate around 8:30 Friday night.

“It’s not even decent for kids to be in the park,” said their mother, Donnitta Turner, referring to the violent neighborhood.  “They can’t walk around this neighborhood like we grew up.   It was better when we grew up.  We could be outside.  We could play.  We can’t even do this out here.  It’s sad.  Something’s got to give,” Turner said, tears rolling down her cheeks.

The gunman pulled up in a red Monte Carlo, rose through the sun roof, and started shooting.

There were 53 shell casings on the ground when the shooting stopped.

Daja took cover under a parked car.  Latasha was already inside.

“I climbed under the car as far as I could get.  I’m looking out the corner of my eye and I’m looking at all of the gunshots bouncing off the ground…the next thing you know my step sister is screaming, ‘Tasha’s hit.  Tasha’s hit, call the police’,” Daja said.

“It just feels like I’m dreaming, but I’m not,” said the girls’ mother.

Latasha was hit in the arm and in her face:  a bullet where her eye used to be.

“That’s the only store the kids have to walk to and get candy.  Unfortunately, there’s people out there all the time.  When the bad guys come shooting, they’re shooting for them but they’re shooting at all the kids at the same time.  Unfortunately my niece lost her eye due to being inside the store just trying to get some snacks,” Barge said.

“We are wearing patches every Friday throughout the whole year if you want to support us in that to wear patches on Friday, every Friday throughout the year on the left side, your eye, to support my daughter, Latasha Williams,” Turner said.

A man in his 30's was also injured, shot in the back, police said.

If you have any information, call St. Louis Police.

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