I live in what the media occasionally calls the most dangerous city in America.
Most of the time, I think the hype is just that – hype.
I love St. Louis. I grew up here, before moving to Texas in elementary school. I adore the food, the people, the community feeling of all the suburbs (even if I don’t have an answer to age old question of where I went to high school).
So when a fellow Billiken alumni was shot and killed in a neighborhood near my work, an area where many friends live, an area where I frequent quite often for the bars and restaurants, I was concerned.
I did not know the girl but I know that she didn’t deserve to be shot over a cell phone. She was arguing with her assailants during a bungled burglary and was shot for it. It makes my heart hurt to read the article describing the event, just to warn you. This was in broad daylight and she was talking on the phone to her mother. I cannot even imagine being in either situation, Megan’s or her mother’s.
Since I work nearby, I was a little concerned walking those streets. The police are talking about increasing patrols and putting more officers on the street, but I’m not so sure it makes me feel safer.
Walking around my own apartment complex sort of worries me as well. Who knows who might be driving by looking for a young woman of slight build who could be an easy target?
But I don’t want to be looking over my shoulder for my entire life. It’s just not a way to live. You have to strike a balance of safety but still live your life. Incidents like the one last week in our Central West End just makes me stop and think, and pray for Megan’s family, the families of the accused, our Billiken family and our St. Louis community. We just have to make things like this a rare occurrence and not the common as it’s starting to become.