An interim Missouri Senate Committee on Public Safety held its first hearing today in Jefferson City about ways to address the state’s increasing cases of gun violence. FBI information makes St. Louis, Kansas City and Springfield among the most dangerous cities in America on a per person average.
Kansas City Police Chief Rick Smith tells the committee his city has had 123 homicides so far this year with about 90% of those involving guns.
“We’re on pace for about 144 to 145 homicides. That’s about twelve a month,” says Smith. “When I talk at community meetings, I often say if we had a terrorist attack with this many victims, we would change all kinds of things in this country. But it seems to be the slow, methodical death of our citizens does not seem to get the same response.”
According to Smith, Kansas City had 115 murders in 2015.
“When I was a young officer in Kansas City, I used to respond to shooting calls, where one person attempted to shoot another,” says Smith. “In 2019, we are responding to shootouts, where we have multiple people shooting each other.”
Smith says about 1,000 shell casings are found each month in Kansas City from gun fire.
Coming up tomorrow on Missourinet, St. Louis officials provide information about gun violence in their city.
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