Alderman speaks out on shooting death of 14-year-old

ST. LOUIS (KPLR) - 14-year-old Jamarr Mack, Jr. has been identified as the victim in Monday night's fatal north city shooting.

It happened near the intersection of Lee and Clarence Streets.

"We have buried too many young children in our city and it is unfortunate that this has to go on repeatedly, repeatedly" said 21st Ward Alderman Antonio French, who serves the area where the shooting happened.

"We have to give opportunity to young people in our city, we have to do a better job of improving quality of life in these neighborhoods and what we also need to recognize is that the level of violence we are seeing in the city is a symptom of a larger problem" he said.

French says despite this shooting happening in his ward, the ongoing problem of violence is a problem without geographical borders.

"I think too many people don’t see this as a citywide crisis" French said.  "Regardless of what side of town it happens on, regardless the neighborhood it happens in, we are at a crisis level regarding the number of homicide victims and shooting victims in our city" said French.

Neighbors feel the sense of community in their neighborhoods has declined which is contributing to the violence.  French agrees, adding there has to be a sense of purpose put back into the community.

"There’s too many people, too many young people that don’t really have a place to go after school" French said.   "They don’t have a place to go where they feel like they have someone who has their back and has their best interest".

Police don't have information about a gunman or motive.  French says people coming forward with information is imperative.  Adding that solving crimes and preventing them, go hand in hand.

"It is impossible for the police department to be effective and successful if they don’t have that relationship with the community" French said.  "So all of the work we do to try to mend that broken relationship really will help us make our neighborhoods safer" he said.

Mack was a student in the St. Louis Public Schools virtual schools program.