ST. LOUIS, MO (KPLR) - The St. Louis chapter of the NAACP says the system let down a 13-year-old girl accused in a shooting at a beauty supply store in Bellefontaine Neighbors. NAACP leaders say they met with the accused shooter and her family. They wanted to examine the larger issues in the community that led to the child's actions.
"She is not a monster. We've had the opportunity look into her background all of the circumstances that impacted her short 13-year-old life." said President of the NAACP St. Louis Adolphus Pruitt.
Tuesday the St. Louis City chapter of the NAACP held a press conference to discuss the issues in the life of the 13-year-old girl who's accused of shooting an elderly couple during a theft at a Bellefontaine Neighbors beauty shop in late July. Officials with the organization say the teen was exposed to drugs while her mother was pregnant creating developmental issues. President Adolphus Pruit also says the state, unprepared parents and other systems failed the teen. The organization is looking at the state for more funding to create more interventions to prevent similar issues the future.
Leaders say they're praying for the shooting victims full recovery. They are hoping the media will take a closer look at the backstories and issues affecting young people and the juvenile system in the community. We're also told at this point the family of the victims are pushing to have the 13-year old tried as an adult.
Organization leaders say they are still trying to have a sit down meeting with the victims and their family, but that has still not happened.