St. Louis County police shot and killed a man early Saturday morning after he allegedly charged at officers with a knife and a copy of the Bible.
Police said a Tactical Operations Unit responded to a call from the mother of a man who had locked himself inside their house in the town of Jennings, Missouri, a suburb north of St. Louis, near Ferguson. After attempting to coerce the man outside, police shot him first with an "impact weapon" and then with live bullets after he emerged at around 12:55am carrying a knife, according to a statement from St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar.
The man was identified as 23-year-old Thaddeus McCarroll.
Police released a video of the event, which shows officers attempting to speak to McCarroll and convince him to come outside.
"Do me a favor and just drop the knife and walk over here to tell me what's going on," says one officer. "We are not here to harm you."
Police then shoot what appear to be live bullets, although the video ends before it is clear exactly what happened. "Lets get CPR going!" an officer says soon after the round is shot. McCarroll cannot be seen or heard in the video.
Police said they were forced to respond with deadly force after they tried to diffuse the situation with nearly an hour of negotiations.
"The officers resorted to less lethal force to try and bring the incident to a safe conclusion with no loss of life, but this individual made the decision to refuse these attempts and charge at officers with a deadly weapon," Belmar said.
This latest officer-involved fatal shooting comes in the midst of intense public scrutiny toward police practices nationwide, and especially in Missouri, since the shooting and death of Michael Brown in Ferguson last August. Yesterday, charges were dropped against a Kansas City police officer indicted for shooting an unarmed man last June.
The Missouri Tactical Operations Unit is a specialized force within the St. Louis County police that is responsible for responding to hostage negotiations, search warrants or any other "unusual situation or event that requires the use of specialized training and tactics," according to police.
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