St. Louis, MO – One teen was fatally shot and twelve others were injured while attending a party inside a downtown office building early Sunday morning.
The incident occurred on the fifth floor of a building located at the intersection of Washington Avenue and 14th Street at approximately 1 a.m. on June 18, CBS News reported.
Police said the area where the party was held appeared to be an office space.
St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department (SLMPD) officers were patrolling the neighborhood when they spotted a group of people running away from the building, SLMPD Chief Robert Tracy said during a press conference later that day.
The SLMPD then began receiving multiple calls that someone had opened fire on the fifth floor of the same building, CBS News reported.
They responded the scene and found 11 victims ranging in age from 15 to 19 suffering from gunshot wounds.
A 17-year-old male succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene, CBS News reported.
SLMPD Sergeant Charles Wall later identified him as Makao Moore, according to ABC News.
Ten other teens were wounded by gunfire, CBS News reported.
An additional victim – a 17-year-old girl – was running down the stairs and trampled by the crowd, leaving her with a “serious” spine injury, Chief Tracy said.
Two of the victims were 19-year-old males, NPR reported.
One was shot in the back, and the other was shot in the groin, legs, and arm.
An 18-year-old male was shot in his left side and legs, KMOV reported.
A 17-year-old male suffered a graze wound to the face, and a 17-year-old female was shot in the leg, NPR reported.
Three 16-year-old females were among the wounded.
One was shot in the lower back, one suffered a graze wound to the ankle, and the other was shot in the leg, NPR reported.
A 15-year-old female suffered a graze wound to her left side, and a second 15-year-old female was shot in her ankle, knee, and arm, according to KMOV.
A 17-year-old suspect was taken into custody, but that person’s identity has not been released, CNN reported.
Chief Tracy said investigators are looking into whether there was more than one shooter, according to NPR.
He said police recovered a handgun and AR-style pistols when they took the 17-year-old into custody, according to CBS News.
They also located a multitude of shell casings at the scene of the attack.
Witnesses have given conflicting accounts about how the shooting unfolded, KSDK reported.
Some said a group of masked men came into the room and opened fire, while others said the incident began when two groups of people started arguing and then began shooting one another.
A motive has not been released.
Investigators are looking into who was responsible for the gathering, according to CNN.
VIDEO: A walk-through of last night’s shooting scene on the 5th floor of 1409 Washington Avenue, an office building in downtown St. Louis. 10 juveniles were shot, one fatally. There have been at least two other shootings here in recent years. There is also an illegal bar on the… pic.twitter.com/CDlQwKnPr3
— Citizens for a Greater Downtown St. Louis (@Citizens4STL) June 18, 2023
The building has been described as a co-office space and other tenants said the main door is often left open, KSDK reported.
St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones said the violence the teens experienced during the incident was “intolerable and unacceptable,” CBS News reported.
“It’s every parent’s worst nightmare, tenfold,” Jones said, according to CNN. “My heart goes out to all of the families in pain today. All those attending will carry with them the scars, physical and mental, from the gun violence that tore into their lives.”
The mayor said there need to be more activities for youth to help keep them out of trouble and that the state needs to tighten up its gun laws.
“We, as a city, as a community, and as an entire region, must offer our youth more safe spaces before things escalate into dangerous late-night parties in office buildings,” she said, according to KMOV. “A police response alone is not enough to keep our youth out of harm’s way, and the City is expanding our youth program options at our recreation centers to give them more places to go and have fun.”
“With young people traveling from as far as Jefferson County to Downtown on the weekends, I hope our civic, nonprofit, corporate, and philanthropic partners in our region will match or exceed our efforts and recognize the urgency of this moment,” Jones added.