ST. LOUIS — The city for the month of June is averaging about one homicide a day, according to police statistics.
The latest killing occurred Wednesday evening when a 36-year-old man was shot in the head in the 5200 block of St. Louis Avenue.
Police found Dontae Hearn, of the 900 block of Washington Avenue, in the back yard of a residence about 6 p.m. Wednesday. Police did not provide any details about a suspect.
St. Louis police said the homicide was the 23rd so far in June. Wednesday was the 24th day of the month.
The homicide count for the year so far is at least 92. In all of 2019, 194 people were killed in St. Louis.
Police haven’t made arrests in 63 of this year’s homicides. For the other 29, police consider the cases closed.
The motives in most of this year’s killings remain elusive. Police said they don’t know why the victim was killed in 72 of the cases. Ten people were killed in arguments, two over drugs, five in burglaries and two as retaliatory acts. The motive in one killing, police said, was jealousy.
Seventy-eight of the victims this year have been men, and most were in their 20s or 30s. Nearly all of those killed were Black. Eight victims were 17 years old or younger.
Wednesday’s killing on St. Louis Avenue was in the Kingsway West neighborhood. Crime from December to May in Kingsway West was down about 18% compared to the same period last year.
By the end of May, the city’s homicide total for the year was 70, according to the most recent available data from St. Louis police. Last year, in the same time frame, it was the exact same number.
There were 25 homicides in May of last year, according to police statistics, and 21 this year during the month.
Violent crime was down 7% year to date in the city.
Post-Dispatch reporter Janelle O’Dea contributed to this report.