St.Louis city police are investigating a fatal police shooting in St.Louis City - less than 3 miles from Ferguson - today at 1230pm. Residents heard at least 5 shots fired. The suspect approached the officers with a knife in an open-hand grip and screamed "shoot me, kill me now." One witness described it at 'suicide by cop'.
Press Conference Live Feed:
St. Louis city police officers shot and killed a man they say brandished a knife at them outside a market Tuesday afternoon.
The shooting was about 12:30 p.m., police said.
Witnesses said the man who was shot had been inside Six Stars Market at Riverview Boulevard near McLaran Avenue. He took items from the market and left, followed by a market employee, witnesses said.
When the market employee told the man he would have to pay for the items, the man started throwing the items on the street and sidewalk. St. Louis Alderman Dionne Flowers, who works at a nearby beauty shop, witnessed the encounter, according to St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson. She described the man as acting erratically and was grabbing at his waistband, Dotson said.
"The store owner and the alderwoman said the suspect was armed with a knife, acting erratically, pacing back and forth in the street, talking to himself," said Dotson, who spoke at the scene.
Employees at the market and the beauty shop called 911 and two police officers arrived, police said.
The officers ordered the man to get down, according to Dotson. The man, 23, became more agitated and walked toward them, reaching for his waistband. Witnesses told police the man was yelling "Shoot me, kill me now," during the encounter.
The officers drew their weapons and ordered the man to stop. He did stop, but then pulled out a knife and came at the officers with it held up hight, Dotson said. They ordered him to stop and drop the knife. When he got within two or three feet of the officers, they fired, killing the man.
“This is a lethal range for a knife,” Dotson said.
The officers were not hurt, police said. They were put on administrative duty pending an investigation.
Initially, a crowd that had gathered at the shooting scene was peaceful, but when Dotson started speaking to reporters at the impromptu press conference, the crowd became rowdier and started chanting the now familiar, “Hands up, don't shoot,” a common refrain at Ferguson protests.
Several older residents in the area got between those shouting and the police line and tried to calm the crowd. The shouts subsided but escalated again when the press conference concluded, and Dotson appeared to be walking away.
Dotson went into the midst of the crowd and reiterated all of the details he had provided the press. Dotson's actions calmed the situation along with help from the residents, who yelled, “Listen up” and “Keep quiet,” when the crowd tried to interrupt.
Several in the crowd asked why police did not use tasers to bring down the subject. Dotson said police officers have the right to defend themselves when an agitated man is coming at them with a knife. Said the chief, “Officers have a reasonable expectation to go home at the end of their shift.”
St. Louis city police have The victim's body behind orange barrier. pic.twitter.com/Z4lfrSVB7Y— Adrienne Broaddus (@abroaddus) August 19, 2014
Crowds gathering at the site...