The boy's family had visited his grandmother to drop off food when two men emerged from between buildings to fire at their car.
Trigger warning: This story contains descriptions of gun violence that some readers may find disturbing
A 9-year-old boy was shot and killed in St. Louis, Missouri, on March 7, Sunday night, in what's believed to be a case of mistaken identity. Caion Greene was leaving his grandmother's home when he was shot by two unidentified men in the chest. He was rushed to the hospital but didn't make it. The police said they suspected the shooting to be a case of mistaken identity, reported People.
Caion was visiting his grandmother Christine Greene along with his 7-month-old brother, his mother, and her fiancé on Sunday night. They were there to deliver food to Caion's grandmother. “They took my baby. They took my baby from me,” said Christine, reported Fox 2. “Y’all shot my grandbaby. Y’all took my grandbaby’s life. Y’all shot my grandbaby in the heart, sleeping in the back of his car, trying to go see his grandmama, trying to see his grandmama: me!”
Shortly after they left Christine's home, two unidentified men emerged from between apartment buildings and opened fire at the family's vehicle. They ran after the car and continued shooting as the family drove away. One bullet struck Caion in the heart. No one else in the car was hurt. The 9-year-old's family rushed him to the hospital but he couldn't be saved. He was declared dead on arrival. The boy's family said his last word was "ouch." The St. Louis police were alerted to the shooting shortly before 10 p.m. on Sunday after the family arrived at the hospital. The authorities have launched an investigation into the matter and are working to identify the shooters. There was no motivation for the shooting, said the police.
The boy's family is heartbroken. "They killed a nine-year-old kid," Christine told KSDK-TV. "The violence has to stop somewhere. Can we get the guns taken out of the street? They killed my 9-year-old over mistaken identity." Caion is the seventh homicide victim under the age of 17 in the city of St. Louis within the first 10 weeks of 2021. Caion was due to receive an award for excellence as a student at Peabody Elementary School the following day, reported Fox 2. A St. Louis City Public School spokesperson said that the district's crisis response team held virtual meetings with Caion's classmates to help them cope with the loss.
The St. Louis Mayor conveyed their condolences to the family. “My heart goes out to Caion’s family. Just a very sad situation,” said Mayor Lyda Krewson. Deshandra Pirtle, Christine's neighbor, called on the authorities to take action to make the neighborhood safe. "We shouldn’t have to be scared to come out of our houses and walk to our cars,” said Pirtle. “We should be able to bring our kids and our grandkids outside to play.”
“Violence continues to plague our city, and it is up to city leadership to say once and for all that this is unacceptable,” said Treasurer Tishaura Jones, a Mayoral candidate in a statement. “This is the 33rd homicide this year — last year at this point, the most violent on record in decades, we were at 26 homicides. My heart continues to break for every family who has lost a relative to violence — especially those who have lost children. I am ready to tackle this issue on day one.”
The search for the shooters is still on. St. Louis police are requesting anyone with information on the incident to call the Homicide Division at 314-444-5371. Tipsters can remain anonymous and possibly collect a reward by calling CrimeStoppers at 866-371-8477 (TIPS).
Cover image credit: Getty Images | Photo by Hill Street Studios (representational image)