Reverend Rice calls on faith leaders to help those in need to stop the violence

ST. LOUIS – As calls continue for everyone to put down their guns and stop the violence, it’s clear that message is resonating well with those who need to hear it the most.

“It’s getting to be an epidemic proportion,” Rev. B.T. Rice said.

On the heels of yet another violent weekend in the City of St. Louis, Reverend B.T. Rice is left stunned how this is becoming a routine.

“What we considered as news six months ago, seems normal today and that is frightening and extremely unfortunate,” the reverend said.

At a time when many people hit the streets for St. Patrick’s Day fun, others were surrounded by the sounds of gunfire in north and south St. Louis.

Overall 7 people were shot, with two dead.

The first round of gunshots rang out in the 4500 block of McMillan Avenue in North City where first responders found a 23-year-old man with a gunshot wound to the upper torso.

Authorities later pronounced him dead.

Meanwhile, homicide detectives were also called to a shooting in the 4500 block of Nebraska Ave in South City where they found a 30-year-old man shot.

He was later pronounced dead at the hospital as well.

On top of that, there was a countless number of other shootings leaving victims recovering in the hospital with multiple gunshot wounds.

“We cannot continue to allow the fix to be simply in the hands of law enforcement,” Rice said. “We as clergy must step to the plate.”

Reverend Rice is calling on faith leaders to stop sheltering their solutions within the church and find ways to impact those who are in need the most.

“It has to be done now,” he said. “We cannot continue to talk and talk and meet and greet and then decide when we’re going to meet again. We have go to move into action, we, we the clergy has to move into action.”

All the shooting victims ages ranged from 21 to 37-year-old.

One suspect was taken into custody Saturday afternoon in the McMillan shooting.  There’s been no word on any suspects in the other shootings.