Investigators frustrated with community that won’t, ‘snitch’

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) - This year murders in St. Louis City and County have seen a spike. Many of the murders are unsolved. This is creating a frustrating situation for investigators who deal with a community who won't "snitch."

Detectives say a lot of these homicides are retaliation shootings. Instead of working one case, detectives have to piece together a string of murders. Right now the North County Cooperative is working a homicide case that they can connect to at least four other murders and three shootings.

It all begins August 21st with a robbery.

"We had some people get robbed and in retaliation of that we had a young man who was killed. In retaliation for that happening we had another young man that was killed. Then we have had shootings that are all part of retaliation." said Detective Lieutenant Steve Runge of the North County Cooperative.

Detective Lieutenant Steve Runge says in these cases victims and witnesses don`t give them much information. Investigators have to start from the beginning connecting the dots. Even if detectives know who the main players are it is still not always enough to make an arrest.

"Well there is a difference between word on the street and what we can prove. We have to prove what happened beyond a reasonable doubt. So it takes a lot of leg work, a lot of investigation, a lot of talking to friends family members. You have to go knock on doors you have to come up with witness you have to come up with evidence." said Detective Lieutenant Steve Runge.

Runge says getting that hard evidence isn`t easy.

"A lot of times they use stolen cars. It is part of the ring they will steal the cars, they will make the hit, then they will drop the cars and throw the guns in the river. So it`s tough." said Detective Lieutenant Steve Runge.

Gang members are not scared to show off what they are doing on social media.

"You can go online and just watch gang members talking about whose got a set of wheels, stolen cars, stolen guns. It is crazy out there." said Detective Lieutenant Steve Runge.

He says it may only get crazier. The retaliation shootings may get worse.

"Oh definitely, they have gotten worse. St. Louis is a dangerous town. A lot of guns on the streets the value of human life isn`t what it used to be." said Detective Lieutenant Steve Runge.

Officers arrested a person of interest Thursday related to these homicides. They do not have enough evidence to charge him with anything. But they will be adding a few more names and pictures to their chart.