The suspect, Joseph Renick, faces charges of first-degree murder, armed criminal action and unlawful possession of a firearm for the fatal shooting of 15-year-old Sentonio Cox on Sunday, according to the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office.
Police said officers responding to a missing person call arrived in the Carondelet neighborhood last weekend to find Sentonio dead from a gunshot.
Renick was being held on a $500,000 bond, according to the circuit attorney’s office.
A teenager who identified himself as a friend of victim told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that Sentonio was headed home when he was shot. To get home, the teen often cut through an empty lot near the site of the shooting, the friend told the newspaper.
Sentonio’s fatal shooting was the latest in what has been a deadly summer for young people in St. Louis, where police are investigating at least 10 of the juvenile shootings as homicides, while two others have been classified as suspicious, according to spokeswoman Evita Caldwell.
People carried balloons at a Tuesday vigil at the lot where Sentonio was killed. His mother tried to encourage the teenagers mourning him.
The killings have led to tearful vigils around the city for the innocent victims of gun violence.
“We all feel the hurt and the pain every day of the week,” said James Clark of the community outreach organization Better Family Life.
The youngest victim is 2-year-old Kayden Johnson, who was killed in late April along with his 18-year-old mother, Trina’ty Riley, police said.
Last weekend, city officials announced a grim formula for calculating rewards leading to the children’s killers: $25,000 for each child younger than 10, for a total of $100,000.
The reward money will expire Sunday, officials said.
CNN’s Darran Simon and Elliott C. McLaughlin contributed to this report.