St. Louis Police have shot and killed a black teenager after claiming that the suspect had pointed a gun at them. The shooting has reignited racial unrest, following the killing of an unarmed, young black man in a fellow Missouri town a year ago.
According to St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson, the shooting took place on Wednesday (August 19) when two black men ran out of the back door of a house where a search warrant was being carried out.
Dotson said that officers caught up with the pair and ordered them to stop, when one of the suspects pointed a gun at the officers, they shot him four times resulting in the suspect’s death.
“Detectives were looking for guns, looking for violent felons, looking for people that have been committing crimes in the neighbourhood,” explained Dotson.
Police have identified the slain teen as Mansur Ball-Bey who was 18-years-old, the second youth in the shooting fled the scene and, as of now, has not been identified.
Speaking to reporters Dotson said that Ball-Bey’s gun was one of the three that had been stolen, and along with crack cocaine had been recovered from the scene.
The two officers involved in the shooting were both white, with one aged 33 and the other 29, each of whom had been on the force for approximately seven years. They are both currently on administrative leave.
Unrest has gripped the city, with crowds gathering at a nearby intersection after the shooting as well as later on in the evening.
Speaking at a press conference Dotson said that the protest had seen officers being attacked with bricks and broken bottles, with police having to use shields as a way of protecting themselves. Officers then went on to disperse tear gas into the crowd. According Dotson, a car was set on fire and local businesses had reported bank robberies.
So far the racial tension has led to nine people being arrested on charges such as impeding traffic and resisting arrest according to police officers.
St. Louis Alderman Antonio French took to twitter to post that a vacant house had been set alight.
The shooting has come a mere 10 days after St. Louis was inundated with protestors who marked the anniversary of the killing of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown. Brown was shot by a white police officer on 9 August 2014, the shooting took place in Ferguson.
The shooting of Brown helped to ignite a nationwide movement against – what protestors describe as – the brutality and police violence against minorities.
The shooting of Ball-Bey on Wednesday came as activists protested the shooting of another black youth, Kajieme Powell, by police in St. Louis. Police have said the officers shot Powell after he approached them with a knife.