Wave of fatal shootings near St. Louis claims two more children

Man killed, seven other people shot at Philadelphia graduation party

Two children died in gun violence near St. Louis on Thursday, bringing the total number of youths fatally shot this year in and near the Missouri city to nearly two dozen.

A 3-year-old boy in St. Louis County is thought to have found an unsecured gun and shot himself shortly before noon, officials said. Despite the efforts of police officers who rushed him to the hospital while attempting life-saving measures, he died, the St. Louis County Police Department said in a statement.

Hours later, a 13-year-old boy was fatally shot outside a north St. Louis County apartment building, NBC affiliate KSDK of St. Louis reported.

St. Louis County police Sgt. Ben Granda told reporters that police do not believe the shooting was random.

The two deaths bring the number of children fatally shot in the St. Louis area to at least 23 so far this year, according to the station.

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