Girl, 15, is shot on street in Florissant
Sketch of suspect in Florissant shooting
(Handout)By Patrick M. O'Connell and Kim Bell
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
FLORISSANT — When Heather Alderson heard the crackling sound outside her house late Wednesday night, she believed it was fireworks. Then she heard screaming. Alderson ran outside and found a 15-year-old girl slumped on the sidewalk.
"I said, 'Are you OK?' and she said, 'No, I've been shot,'" said Alderson, who then called 911 from her cell phone.
Police said Thursday that the girl was shot by one of two men who approached her and another 15-year-old girl near the intersection of the southern spur of Spring Drive and South New Florissant Road.
The girls were walking home from a friend's house about 11:40 p.m. when the men demanded the girls' purses. One of the men flashed a pistol. One girl clutched her purse and ran. The other girl was shot in the chest and her purse was taken, police said.
The men jumped into a green coupe-type car similar to a Pontiac and sped off, police said. The shooter is a man in his late teens, police said.
Florissant Police Chief Bill Karabas and Mayor Robert Lowery said the girl is a student-athlete at McCluer North High School. They said Thursday evening she is listed in serious but stable condition and is improving at an area hospital.
"She's doing better," Lowery said.
The girl was conscious at the scene and able to talk with police when they arrived. The other girl returned, upset, to check on her friend, Alderson said. Based on the girls' descriptions of the attackers and some accounts of witnesses driving by, police have been able to develop of composite sketch of the suspected gunman.
"They're doing everything humanly possible and following all leads," Lowery said. "I'm confident we'll find who did this."
Karabas and residents said the area has had a few car break-ins and the occasional burglary but nothing violent.
"Nothing major like this," said Alderson, 27. "It's scary."
The Major Case Squad is assisting police with the investigation. Anyone with information should call Florissant police at 314-831-7000.