St. Louis nears homicide record with 4 Christmas Eve deaths

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Four fatal shootings Christmas Eve brought St. Louis homicide toll for the year within reach of its all-time annual record.

At least 257 people have been killed in St. Louis this year, 10 short of the record 267 set in 1993, according to police.

But the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that because of the city’s population decline, its homicide rate is believed to now exceed 85 per 100,000 people. It was 69 per 100,000 in 1993 when the city’s population was nearly 30% larger than it is now.

Compounding the violence in the area was a fatal double shooting of two men in nearby University City. Neither police department on Friday released more details of the shootings.

They began shortly after midnight Thursday when a man was shot in the head near the intersection of Interstates 44 and 70, police said. He was pronounced dead at a local hospital

Police found a man was found shot dead about 5 a.m. Thursday in a vehicle in a neighborhood to the south near the Mississippi River.

A shooting at 2:30 p.m. in a neighborhood in the central part of the city left two men dead, police said.

The two University City deaths occurred about 3:30 p.m., police said.

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