As protests continue about four miles away in Ferguson, Missouri, another officer-involved shooting has left a 23-year-old man dead Tuesday afternoon in nearby north St Louis, according to multiple local news sources. Two officers fired on the man, who was brandishing a knife outside a local market he had reportedly just robbed. The man was also reportedly asking the officers to kill him.
The officers were not injured. The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene, where the knife was also recovered.
“Authorities say a man tried to rob the 5-Star Market convenience store with a knife,” reports KTVI
. “The store owner says he got into a dispute with the man. Police were called but the suspect refused to put down the weapon. He tried to attack police and was shot and killed.”
has additional details of the incident, which began around 12:20 p.m. Chief Sam Dotson with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department says the unidentified suspect first stole two energy drinks from the store, then returned to grab some pastries a few minutes later. The store owner folowed him asking for payment, then called police.
"Dotson says several witnesses, including a St. Louis alderman, watched as the suspect acted erratically, KSDK reports. The man then began "pacing up and down the street, and talking to himself," the witnesses say.
"When police arrived, they say the suspect walked toward them clutching his waistband," according to KSDK. "They say he then pulled out a knife and held it up in what Dotson described as an 'overhand grip.'"
The officers yelled to the man to drop the knife, an account backed up by witnesees. The officers say the man responded, "Shoot me now, kill me now."
When the man continued to approach the officers, they drew their weapons. As he continued to advance, both officers fired.
"When Dotson was asked if he believes the shooting was justified, he said his officers 'have the right to go home at night,' and that every officer has the right to defend themselves and the community," KSDK reports. Despite that, "Within an hour of the shooting, a crowd had gathered in the area, chanting 'Hands up! Don't shoot!'" the same slogan being used in the Ferguson protests.