Kevin Smallwood, 23, was arrested and charged on Tuesday with both first-degree murder and armed criminal action. Those charges stemmed from his alleged killing of Nichalaus Kaznoch, 39, in the hallway of an apartment building. He has been denied bail.
According to charging documents, Smallwood was identified by Kaznoch before he died, telling a witness which apartment number was the shooter’s. STL Today, reporting on the crime, said:
A witness told police he heard the shots and went into the hallway, where he saw someone running away. The witness said Kaznoch told him the shooter lived in a nearby unit before Kaznoch died at a hospital.
Smallwood was spotted on surveillance video running from the building. Police eventually found him in a different unit in the same building and arrested him.
He had a backpack that held a bag with what police suspected to be heroin and a gun with blood on the barrel.
KMOV, reporting on what led to the Smallwood’s shooting of Kaznoch, reported:
A man was shot and killed inside an apartment building in the Central West End early Tuesday morning, police told News 4.
The shooting happened in the 4300 block of West Pine, which is a block east of Forest Park, around 12:20 a.m.
Shortly after the shooting, News 4 learned that investigators originally on the scene believed there was an argument between two men inside an apartment. The altercation spilled into the hallway. During the argument, police believe one man shot the other. The victim, a 39-year-old man, was found shot in the hallway.
The neighborhood in which the shooting occurred is known for its generally safe reputation. One man who moved to it because of its relative safety, Charlie Hatch, told News 4 KMOV, “It’s just a tough reality to encounter. I know there’s singular violent incidents that happen, but largely the reputation is that you’re free and clear from that. It is happening right down the road.”
Another person who lives nearby was quoted as saying, “St. Louis is kind of in distress right now. The city is hurting. A lot of people are moving away. Not a lot of people are focusing on fixing the city. There are a lot of problems.”
Indeed it is. Neighborhood Scout reported that St. Louis is one of the most dangerous cities in America, writing:
With a crime rate of 70 per one thousand residents, St. Louis has one of the highest crime rates in America compared to all communities of all sizes – from the smallest towns to the very largest cities. One’s chance of becoming a victim of either violent or property crime here is one in 14. Within Missouri, more than 99% of the communities have a lower crime rate than St. Louis. In fact, after researching dangerous places to live, NeighborhoodScout found St. Louis to be one of the top 100 most dangerous cities in the U.S.A.
Separately, it is always interesting and important to compare a city’s crime rate with those of similarly sized communities – a fair comparison as larger cities tend to have more crime. NeighborhoodScout has done just that. With a population of 293,310, St. Louis has a combined rate of violent and property crime that is very high compared to other places of similar population size. Regardless of whether St. Louis does well or poorly compared to all other cities and towns in the US of all sizes, compared to places with a similar population, it fares badly. Few other communities of this size have a crime rate as high as St. Louis.
Featured image credit: St. Louis Police Department
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