June 19 (UPI) — Authorities are investigating a weekend shooting that erupted during a party held in a downtown St. Louis office building that resulted in 10 people, mostly minors, shot, including one fatally.
The mass shooting occurred about 1 a.m. Sunday on the fifth floor of a building at the intersection of 14th Street and Washington Avenue.
St. Louis Police Chief Robert Tracy told reporters during a press conference that officers manning traffic nearby were alerted to the shooting by a large group of people fleeing the building.
Upon arrival, officers were confronted by multiple people shot, including one deceased.
Tracy identified the slain victim as 17-year-old Makao Moore.
He said the 10 people shot ranged in age from 15 to 19. A juvenile, identified as a person of interest, was taken into custody.
Two 19-year-old men were among those injured. One suffered a gunshot wounds to his arm, groin and legs while the other was shot in the back.
A 17-year-old girl also suffered serious injuries to her spine after being possibly trampled while attempting to escape the scene.
Of the 11 people injured or killed, eight were minors, six of whom were girls, Tracy said, adding that the majority were from outside the city.
Tracy said multiple bullet casings from multiple weapons were found at the scene. Several firearms were also recovered, including AR-style pistols and a hand gun, which was located in the possession of the 17-year-old boy taken into police custody.
Initial findings suggest the party was organized via social media, and police are trying to locate who had access to the building and who organized the gathering.
Both Tracy and St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones called for increased gun laws, highlighting that it is not illegal for minors to carry firearms in the state.
Jones also added that they need to invest in safe spaces where teens can gather.
“We as a city, as a community and as a region must offer our young people safe spaces before it escalates into dangerous late night parties in cubicles and office buildings,” she said.
“This father’s day, families across the St. Louis region woke to the news of yet another mass shooting,” she said. “It’s every parent’s worst nightmare tenfold. And my heart goes out to all the families in pain today.”
According to the non-profit Gun Violence Archive, there have been at least 309 mass shootings, which are defined as shooting with four or more victims, so far this year in the United States.
Meanwhile, Everytown for Gun Safety, a nonprofit that advocates for gun control, states Missouri’s gun law are “some of the weakest in the country.”