Toni Stevenson: St. Louis 15-year-old shot in cold blood as she came home
Toni Stevenson was a 15-year-old girl who had natural athleticism as well as smarts. She attended a magnet school and was on the basketball, volleyball and soccer team. She was known as a grade A student.
She was in a car in front of her home on Tuesday, January 16, 2017 when two men with assault rifles approached and opened fire on her. She was coming home from a high school basketball game.
A witness who didn't want to be identified told KMOV that she heard the gunshots and saw that the victim was Toni, affectionately known to the neighborhood as "Boom Boom":
"We noticed the car windows were shot out. We went over there and she was in the car, shot, and I went on the passenger side and I said 'hold on Boom, Boom help is coming'. You know she looked at me and took a breath and I said 'hold on, I don't need you to breath, just hold on' and she looked at me and took her last breath," the neighbor was quoted as saying.
Police said that Toni was not a girl that would be in trouble, but the killing -- brazen, vicious and Mafia-like -- has led them to believe that it was a targeted murder.
“We know people in the community know something,” Capt. Mary Warnecke told reporters at a news conference Friday at St. Louis police headquarters. “We are pleading with them to come forward. We don’t want more loss of life or retaliation.”
Jason Watkins, a classmate of Toni's at Northwest told local media that he was stunned when he had heard that she was gunned down.
"I don't see why her? Out of all people, why her? I've never seen her into it with anybody," Watkins said, according to KMOV.
The police captain said that she is certain that people in the community know something about who committed the crime. She said that his main concern is that no vigilantes takes the law into their own hands.
"We don't need another loss of life," Warnecke was quoted as saying in the RiverFront Times. "We don't need retaliation. We need somebody to come forward to give us the information we need so we can put a stop to this."
Police ask anyone with information to call St. Louis Regional CrimeStoppers at 866-371-TIPS.