ST. LOUIS (AP) St. Louis' mayor says police will be out in full force near Busch Stadium as the Cardinals enter the postseason, after a fan was shot and possibly paralyzed following a game.
Mayor Francis Slay said he will give Police Chief Sam Dotson ''unlimited overtime'' to put more officers on the streets. Slay said he was concerned about ''a higher level of boldness'' by criminals who show little regard for consequences.
Police said the shooting happened after the major league baseball team's game Friday night. Investigators said two men drove up to the victim, Christopher Sanna, and his girlfriend in a parking lot and demanded the couple's belongings. The woman gave up her purse and the couple turned to run before one of the gunmen fired several shots, hitting Sanna in the back.
Doctors said surgery couldn't repair the damage and believe Sanna, an Army veteran, likely wouldn't walk again, his mother told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (http://bit.ly/1KPAd2r ).
''They said he could eventually get a little feeling back, but there was no hope for him to walk. It's horrible,'' said his mother, Candis Sanna. Her 43-year-old son and his siblings were at the game to celebrate her 60th birthday.
Dotson said investigators have little information to go on: No surveillance video caught the shooting, and policed have only a vague description of the shooter. But the police chief said the case is a priority and he's asked the FBI for help.
''You think you're safe after a Cardinals game, and you'd think there are police down there and you wouldn't have to worry,'' Candis Sanna said. ''But there were no police there. I don't know why. You get past Fourth Street and there was nobody around.''
The Cardinals hire off-duty police officers to work at the stadium during games, with as many as 25 working inside the ballpark. More are expected for the postseason.
Dotson said the department also will increase its presence downtown going into the playoffs.
''People have to feel safe when they come to a baseball game, and they are,'' he said.
Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, http://www.stltoday.com