St. Louis among Most Violent Cities in U.S. Although City Crime Ranked 2nd in '94, It Dropped Slightly, FBI Says

Article excerpt

St. Louis was the second most violent city in the United States last year.

It nearly reached Newark's record as the most violent place in the country, according to FBI statistics analyzed by the Post-Dispatch.

The analysis compares violent crimes - murder, rape, robbery and assault - with the population sizes of 193 municipalities.

Nationwide, crime dropped last year. In St. Louis, violent crime dropped 2 percent.

Even so, St. Louis had more violent crimes for its population size than bigger cities with reputations for violence: Atlanta, Miami, Chicago, Washington, New York and Los Angeles.

Nationwide, the city's murder rate ranked fifth. s

"People have a right to be scared, and they have a right to be angry," said Mayor Freeman Bosley Jr.

While crime is down slightly, fear of crime is up, Bosley said. People are angry, he added, over recent high-profile murders:

- Russian immigrant Olga Maxiaeva, 27, was driving home on Interstate 64 (Highway 40) Feb. 20 when someone dropped a huge rock from an overpass through her windshield. .

- Architect Jeffrey Krewson, 42, was parking his car March 23 in front of his family's home in the Central West End. As his wife and two children sat in the back, a carjacker shot Krewson in the neck.

- Melissa Gail Aptman, 22, was leaving a restaurant in the city's Dogtown neighborhood May 5, two weeks before she was to graduate from Washington University. Two carjackers shot her, then shot and raped her girlfriend, 20. The girlfriend survived.

- Travis Charleston, 16, a sophomore and ROTC student at Beaumont High, was in a car at a service station at North Grand Boulevard and Natural Bridge Avenue when he was mistaken for another youth and shot.

Charleston was one of nine people shot in a 13-hour period two weekends ago. …