ST. LOUIS — Amid all the fireworks, bullets also flew around St. Louis.
Police said shortly after 10 p.m. Saturday, they went to a hospital and learned a 4-year-old boy had been shot in his head and was listed in critical condition. Investigators said the child was hit by a stray bullet on the Fourth of July near Page and Pendleton on the city's north side.
"It just hurts. This 4-year-old is innocent," said visibly upset and concerned neighbor Carol Clemons.
Clemons is a longtime resident of the Vandeventer neighborhood. After hearing about what happened to her young neighbor Sunday, Clemons pounded the pavement with her dog on a heartfelt mission.
"The reason I'm out here is because I'm looking for the child's family. I want to show the parents some love and I'm just hurt, so I've had my tears for the parents," said Clemons.
Police said between 10:30 a.m. Saturday and 1 a.m. Sunday 14 people were shot in St. Louis during the holiday weekend. Three people were killed. A total of four children suffered gunshot wounds.
Police said about an hour after the 4-year-old boy was wounded, a triple shooting rang out in the 1100 block of Gano, which also is in north St. Louis. Investigators said two suspects fired from an alley and shot three people including a 7-year-old girl.
The victims were rushed to a hospital.
Back in the Vandeventer neighborhood parents and grandparents echoed one resounding plea.
"I just wish it would all stop. The violence makes no sense. It affects the whole family, the people, the neighbors. It affects the whole community," said concerned neighbor Gladys Collins.
"What's my message to the gang-bangers and all those doing all the shooting? Please, please, please, please value life. Value the innocent children," added an impassioned Clemons.
Over the entire Fourth of July weekend, 24 people were shot in the city. Of those victims, seven people died.