Suspect killed by police officers in St. Louis

By Brandie Piper & Alexandra Martellaro

Published Jan. 22, 2015 on USAToday.com.

ST. LOUIS — A 19-year-old man was killed Wednesday night in an officer-involved shooting after pointing a gun at two police officers, authorities say.

Schron Jackson of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department said the suspect was shot just before 11 p.m. ET at the intersection of Marcus Avenue and Cottage Avenue in north St. Louis.

Chief Sam Dotson says the suspect was the passenger in a stolen red Chevrolet Monte Carlo. Officers conducting hot spot policing in the area saw the vehicle make an illegal turn and speed away, so they put a call out to other officers in the area to be on the lookout for the car.

Dotson said officers spotted the vehicle turn into an alley. It hit a retaining wall and the engine died, causing it to roll backward and bump a patrol car. Dotson said the suspect got out of the car with a 9 mm gun with a 30-round extended magazine, and pointed it at police.

Officers told the suspect to drop the weapon, but Dotson said the suspect didn’t comply with the order. Two police officers opened fire on the suspect, who was pronounced dead at a local hospital. His name has not been released, and Dotson says he did not fire at officers. Nobody else was injured.

The gun the suspect was carrying had “what appears to be a 30-round magazine in it, so it’s capable of firing 30 bullets at somebody in a very short period of time,” Dotson said.

Dotson said he wasn’t sure how many shots were fired by the officers, who both have about eight years of experience. The chief said there were witnesses to the shooting.

No officers were injured during the incident.

The driver, also 19, is in custody.

Police say the vehicle was stolen from a south city neighborhood in December, and both the suspect and the driver of the car have criminal records. Police say the driver is cooperating with the investigation.

The department’s Force Investigative Unit, created to review officers’ use of force after a knife-wielding man was shot and killed by police two months after the death of Michael Brown, is investigating the shooting. Dotson says the unit will reconstruct the scene, interview witnesses, and look for any video that may have captured the incident. An internal review and an investigation by the circuit attorney’s office will follow.

About an hour after the shooting, a few protesters were reportedly at the scene chanting, “No justice, no peace.”

Contributing: The Associated Press

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