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Man killed by St. Louis police officers after allegedly pointing gun identified

St. Louis police said the officers ordered Ralph Jones to drop his gun. Police shot him when he pointed his weapon at them. He later died.

ST. LOUIS — St. Louis police are investigating after two officers shot a man they said pointed a gun at them in north St. Louis Monday evening.

The man later died from his injuries, according to a Tuesday update from police.

A spokeswoman from the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department said the incident happened at around 5:45 p.m. near Riverview Boulevard and McLaran Avenue. 

"I heard what I thought was shots then I heard the police sirens," neighbor Diane Raspberry-Eddins said.

According to a police summary, District 6 had advised the officers of a suspect wanted for a March 27 flourishing incident. They found him holding a gun near the intersection.

In a press conference, St. Louis police Chief John Hayden said the officers pulled over and ordered the man to drop the gun, but he refused and pointed it at the officers. The officers then opened fire on the man, striking him at least once.

The officers performed CPR on him until EMS arrived. He was rushed to a St. Louis hospital for treatment, where he later died.

He was identified Wednesday as Ralph Jones, a 54-year-old who lived about a block away from the shooting scene.

Riverview Boulevard closed for a period as investigators cleared the scene.

"It blocked off my street and I have to get a kid off of the bus. Her bus stop is right there on the corner," Raspberry-Eddins said as she waited for her grandchild. "The bus comes down this way to pick her up and I was asking them 'Sir what can I do? My baby's bus hasn't come home. You've got the streets blocked.'"

Officers recovered a gun next to Jones. The department released a photo of the gun, magazine and bullets Tuesday.

Credit: SLMPD

A police spokeswoman said neither officer who fired their weapon was injured.

The officers involved in the incident are both 27 years old, according to Hayden. One of the officers has four years of law enforcement experience and the other has 1 1/2 years of law enforcement experience. Both were working overtime in full duty uniform and were in a marked police Tahoe.

He didn't know if officers were looking for the man before the confrontation that led to the shooting. 

Hayden said he believed the officers had their body cameras on at the time of the incident.

Video from the scene showed multiple officers and police vehicles in the area. A section of the roadway was blocked by police tape.

The Force Investigation Unit is handling the investigation.

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