Security stepped up in downtown St. Louis

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ST. LOUIS (KPLR) – All outward signs at the first night of back-to-back Taylor Swift concerts in at Scottrade Center before the shot seemed to be about celebrating one of the biggest events of the year for St. Louis, Monday night.

Grown women were excited as the young girls.

Yet as fans got out of their cars and made their way into the venue, safety was certainly front of mind.

Fans parked a little closer to the arena than they normally do, especially if they spotted police nearby.

Christopher Sanna, 43, of House Springs was shot in the back and left paralyzed after celebrating his mother’s 60th birthday at Busch Stadium Friday night.

A gunman robbed him and his girlfriend near their seemingly safe parking spot by the Old Cathedral, police said.

More police would be coming soon to downtown, said St. Louis Police Chief, Sam Dotson.

“We do it every October but this year we’re going to do it with a purpose to make sure we don’t see a repeat of this kind of violence,” Dotson said.  He had a little advise for people attending downtown events.

“Park in a well-lit lot, don’t walk in 1’s and 2’s, walk in large groups,” he said.

“I’ve also authorized unlimited (police) overtime,” said Mayor Francis Slay. “We’re also working on trying to get resources to get more police (more than 150 additional officers on the force).”

All of the Taylor Swift fans who spoke to FOX 2 were aware of Sanna’s shooting.

“I work over at AT&T and I thought about parking in the garage over there and walking over here but I just don’t feel comfortable with these kids walking that far at night,” said Janet Tolie, attending the concert with her daughter, Amber on Amber’s 10th birthday.

“We had to park 2 blocks away down at Union Station,” said Amanda Kowalczyk, one of a group of 4 22-23 year old women going to the show together.  “It’s something we feel uneasy about as 4 young women on nights in St. Louis.”

“A concealed carry (permit) is definitely on my list,” said Kowalczyk’s friend, Chelsea Curten.  “It would make me feel safer like I could take care of myself being a small young lady.  It’s the only way.  I wouldn’t have a chance without one.”

Firearms are not allowed at Busch Stadium or Scottrade Center.

Curten hoped the rules would eventually change so people could at least carry their weapons and check them at the door.