ST. LOUIS – On the heels of a violent July 4th weekend in St. Louis, which ended with seven people shot in downtown after the city’s main fireworks event, a police spokesperson doubled down on the department’s response and safety plans.

Mitch McCoy, director of the Public Affairs and Information Division for the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, spoke Wednesday about the shootings and police presence throughout the holiday weekend.

McCoy says the department organized an operations plan for the Fourth of July that consisted of officers working in the daytime and nighttime.

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“Those officers consist both of officers you see and officers you don’t. That includes officers in uniform; that includes plain-clothed officers,” McCoy said.

He says the department has seen success in combatting crime through unmarked patrol cars.

“We have seen a lot of success when it comes to the officers that are specifically assigned to our anti-crime task force that are in unmarked patrol cars, that are plain clothes, actually prevent crime before it happens. And they are stopping that crime,” McCoy said.

“I understand that the feeling that [people] may not have seen an officer. I promise you, the officers were there. The officers were being seen by many, but you were probably passing an officer and didn’t even know it was an officer.”

Seven people were shot in Downtown St. Louis within a few hours after the city’s main Fourth of July fireworks show. The victims were reportedly shot in two nearby scenes: 8th and Pine streets and 7th and Chestnut streets.

SLMPD did not issue a real-time crime alert on its social media platforms while investigating the seven shot. Police did not publicly disclose details around the shooting until nearly 12 hours later in a crime summary report.

McCoy implied the situation did not meet the criteria for a real-time crime alert.

“What we saw with the seven people being shot, we saw numerous victims going to different hospitals, and those victims were scattered,” McCoy said. “Some of those victims did not actually know where they were shot. It took our investigators some time to determine, ‘Were you here? Were you there?’ We had to also help articulate [the victims] where they were shot. That’s why there was no real-time alert.”

As of Wednesday afternoon, no arrests have been made and no charges have been filed in this case.

Police are also investigating various reports of property damage in Downtown St. Louis around the Fourth of July. McCoy says that police chief Robert Tracy has had discussions with several people around the damage.

“We heard the concerns from downtown and residents across our city,” said McCoy. “It’s something that we’re not going to tolerate. We’re not going to allow downtown to become a playground for people who want to break the law.”

Anyone who suffered property damage is encouraged to file a police report or contact the department’s non-emergency phone line at 314-231-1212.