Police Chief Calls 'Armed Cruising' a Growing Problem

"We're going to have a much heavier presence in the area of Broadway and Grand."

Brett Blume
August 10, 2018 - 2:38 pm

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - Police video shows people wearing bullet-proof vests, openly carrying assault weapons and shotguns, and even occasionally firing into the air.

St. Louis Police Chief John Hayden says "cruising" has been around for as long as there have been cars and people who want to show them off and interact with others.

"But what's new is the actual firing of guns," he told reporters Friday. "We're going to have some increased enforcement there simply because many of the persons involved are starting to carry firearms openly. So this is what I'm going to refer to as 'armed cruising' and it's a cause for concern."

Most of the activity happens on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights, and seems to center at a gas station at North Broadway and Grand.

That's where Hayden foresees shifting extra resources to try and dramatically cut down on the activity, which at first seemed to be in recognition for the 4th of July, but has continued unabated for the past several weekends.

"Our response is we're going to have a significant informed presence there for the next few weekends," he said. "We're going to have a much heavier presence in the area of Broadway and Grand."

He says despite the activity being captured on police surveillance video, they've only been able to make a handful of arrests in response to what Hayden characterizes as a "growing issue."

"The other thing is I'm hoping that if relatives see family members down there that we may not have identified, I would hope they'd discourage them because this is behavior that is clearly very dangerous," Hayden says.

Anyone with information about the "armed cruising" outbreak is encouraged to contact the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department or CrimeStoppers.