St. Louis: 9 kids shot dead since April

St. Louis honors young homicide victims
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Jurnee Thompson was 8 years old when she was killed in a shooting in St. Louis.

The fatal shootings of two children, 8 and 15, over the weekend in St. Louis were the latest casualties in what has been a deadly summer for young people, police said.

At least a dozen children 16 years old or younger have been fatally shot since April, police said.

Local reports indicate a 10-year-old girl was among the victims in a triple homicide over the weekend, but it wasn’t immediately clear if she was shot or stabbed. The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department did not include her in a list of young gunshot victims.

On Saturday, officials announced its grim formula for calculating rewards leading to the children’s killers: $25,000 for each child younger than 10, for a total of $100,000.

But the reward money will expire Sunday, city officials said.

“The message to the shooters is now there will be a significant incentive for anyone with information that could lead to your arrest,” Mayor Lyda Krewson told reporters at a news conference, according to CNN affiliate KPLR.

The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department said it is investigating nine of juveniles’ deaths as homicides, while two others are classified as suspicious sudden deaths,” spokeswoman Evita Caldwell

“We have nothing further to provide,” she said in an email.

Here is what we know of each of the young victims:

Kayden Johnson, 2

The first victim, Kayden was also the youngest. The boy was killed April 30 along with his 18-year-old mother, Trina’ty Riley, police said.

Kayden and his mother were found dead in a home around midnight after police responded to a shooting call, according to a police report.

Kayden’s father, Elijah Johnson, told CNN affiliate KMOV he was devastated. He received a call on his way to work telling him that his son and mother of his child were killed.

“Just a lot of pain, it was unbelievable. I could not believe it,” Johnson told the station. “Mixed emotions, very heartbroken right now actually.”

Johnson said his son was a happy child.

“He was uplifting, he was always smiling,” he said.

Kristina Curry, 16

Kristina was found dead near Roosevelt High School on May 23 after suffering apparent gunshot wounds.

The teen had been attending Roosevelt a month before her death but had recently dropped out of school, grandmother Antanina Valentine told KMOV.

Valentine couldn’t comprehend her granddaughter’s violent end, she said.

“I hurt because I can’t understand why someone would hurt my granddaughter that way,” Valentine told KMOV.

Jashon Johnson, 16

Another teen, Jashon was found near Fairground Park in the O’Fallon neighborhood on the night of June 8, after suffering multiple gunshot wounds.

When police arrived just after 10:30 p.m., he was not conscious or breathing and was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Kennedi Powell, 3

Fewer than 24 hours later, Kennedi was shot and killed 3 miles away from the spot where Jashon was found. At least one other child, a 6-year-old girl, was shot in the same incident, a police report said.

Kennedi had a big personality, her family said.

“She was beautiful young lady. She was the type of person who liked to play a lot, like to run off and pinch you,” grandmother Tracy Waffard told CNN affiliate KMOV. “There’s nothing that’s going to bring her back. Every time I look out here on the ground, I see her, and it’s hard — real hard.”

Tanisha Smith, the mother of the 6-year-old girl injured in the shooting, told