James Scales, 17, was shot several times in front of his home in the 1700 block of N. Euclid. His mother said James had a dozen bullet wounds in his young body.
“He was taken to the hospital; unfortunately, he’s deceased at this point,” St. Louis Police Major John Hayden said. “He was to catch a bus around 6:30 to school when this happened.”
Police said Scales was a witness to a murder. That case has yet to go to trial. Now, detectives have to determine if that case is somehow related to Tuesday's killing.
James’ mother said she heard the shots. She declined to be interviewed on camera, but said her son was a talented singer and dancer and was good at street fighting. She said she tried for a long time to direct his skills towards boxing, but that never happened.
James attended a special program at Beaumont High School for students who have trouble learning in a traditional school setting. Crisis counselors were on-hand Tuesday to help his classmates and his teachers cope with their grief.
Candice Boyd is an educator in charge of the special program. She said violence touches so many people.
“It’s tough on everyone. It’s tough on, of course, the families; it’s tough on school officials, because we see these kids every day,” Boyd said. “They come in our doors, we’re working with them, we’re connecting, we’re bonding with them, so it is a huge loss and it is a shock for us.”
Detectives can always use help from anyone who knows anything.
“They’re (detectives) canvassing the area they’re trying to get as much information as they can,” Hayden said. “At this point we do not have any eyewitnesses.”
Scales was a high school junior at Beaumont. His mother said James usually waited for the bus on the front porch, she believes the gunman lured him away from the home and then opened fire.