ST. LOUIS – An 18-year-old man is dead after an officer-involved shooting in the 4100 block of Shaw Boulevard in south St. Louis.
According to Chief Sam Dotson with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, the officer involved is a six-year veteran of the department who was working a secondary job for a private security company.
At approximately 7:30 p.m., the officer's attention was called to three black males in the Shaw neighborhood. When the officer turned his vehicle around, the suspects began to run.
The officer pursued the suspects through several streets and into a gangway where one suspect began to aggressively approach the officer. The officer gave verbal commands telling the suspect to stop, surrender, and that they were under arrest. The suspect continued to advance on the officer until there was a physical altercation.
During the altercation, the suspect's sweatshirt came off, the suspect began to run, and the officer gave chase. Police say the suspect pulled out a firearm and fired at least three shots towards the officer. The officer, fearing for his safety, returned fire fatally striking the suspect.
Police say a 9mm handgun was recovered at the scene.
The 32-year-old officer was not injured during the incident.
After the shooting, a large crowd gathered at the scene and multiple shots were fired in the area. Chief Dotson said police vehicles were damaged after the shooting, but no businesses or homes were looted.
Raw video: Six shots can be heard at 0:13
Steve Conway, the alderman for the neighborhood, posted the following statement on the neighborhood networking website, Next Door:
This is a sorrowful time for the family of the man died. I had visited with a number of members of the clergy that were from the neighborhood this evening.
Each of them recognize that we all have different feelings and emotions that surround the events that have occurred. I am hoping to follow up with them or hear from them, to locate a prayer service at one of their churches.
We will keep you posted.
State Rep. Mike Colona released the following statement in response the Shaw shooting:
"Given the recent attention, both locally and nationally, that has been focused on the appropriate use of force by police, St. Louis residents expect and will receive a thorough and open investigation regarding Tuesday's fatal shooting of an allegedly armed suspect by an off-duty city police officer.
"The spontaneous protests by neighborhood residents following the shooting, which occurred in my district, were initially peaceful. It was only after the arrival of more militant demonstrators from other communities that the protests took a violent turn. I commend the restraint shown by the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department in handling the protests and extend my thoughts and prayers to the family of the young man.
"I wholeheartedly support the right of citizens to peacefully express their views and demand accountability. But violent responses aren't appropriate and cannot be tolerated."