ST. LOUIS (AP) — An off-duty police officer fatally shot a man who opened fire during a chase in south St. Louis, city police said.
St. Louis Police Lt. Col. Alfred Adkins said the 32-year-old officer was working a secondary security job late Wednesday when the shooting happened. Adkins said the officer, a six-year-veteran of the St. Louis Police Department, approached four men on the street.
“As he exited the car, the gentlemen took off running. He was able to follow one of them before he lost him and then found him again as the guy jumped out of some bushes across the street,” Adkins said. “The officer approached, they got into a struggle, they ended up into a gangway, at which time the young man pulled a weapon and shots were fired. The officer returned fire and unfortunately the young man was killed.”
He did not name the officer or the man killed.
Adkins said the officer wasn’t hurt. Police said a gun was retrieved from the scene in the Shaw neighbourhood, near Missouri Botanical Gardens.
People who described themselves as relatives of the man who was shot later told The St. Louis Post Dispatch that he was not armed.
Adkins did not describe any conversation between the officer and the four pedestrians, and didn’t explain why he gave chase.
Hours after the shooting, a crowd gathered at the scene. Some people shouted “Hands up, don’t shoot” in reference to the fatal shooting in August of an unarmed black man, Michael Brown, by a white police officer. That shooting in Ferguson led to weeks of sometimes violent unrest in the St. Louis suburb. Officer Darren Wilson has not been charged in the shooting.
KMOV reported that some angry protesters closed in on police, shouting and kicking at police vehicles, but that the officers remained calm. By 1 a.m. Thursday the crowd had largely dispersed, the TV station reported.
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