St. Louis County police released body camera video after officers shot and killed a 23-year-old man who authorities say charged toward officers holding a knife and a bible.
Thaddeus McCarroll was shot multiple times late Friday night by two officers in Jennings, Mo., according to police. Several officers from the department’s Tactical Operations Unit were wearing body cameras during the incident. Police uploaded footage from one of the officers’ cameras to YouTube Saturday morning.
Since Michael Brown, 18, was shot and killed by an officer in Ferguson, Mo. last summer, the nation has focused on the use of body cameras by police. Protesters across the country have pointed to other officer-involved shootings while demanding that departments equip each officer with a body camera.
Meanwhile, police say officers responded to the home at 9:21 p.m. and spoke with McCarroll’s mother who said she wanted her son removed from her home because his behavior was “not normal.” She told police McCarroll was talking about going on a “journey” and a “mission” and mentioned a “black revolution,” according to authorities. Through the front window of the home, police watched McCarroll walking around the house with several knives and a Samurai sword.
St. Louis County police’s Tactical Operations Unit responded to the scene around 10:30 p.m. After the unit negotiated with McCarroll for an hour, he came out of the house holding a knife in one hand and a bible in the other.
On the video, an officer can be heard questioning McCarroll on a loudspeaker outside. “We will walk away from your house but first I want to know why you’re angry tonight,” the officer says. “Just because we won’t leave is not the reason why you’re angry. I need to know why you’re angry. Is it your mom? Is it you?”
Shortly after gunshots are heard. McCarroll died at the scene.
St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar in a statement released Saturday said officers had no other option than to use deadly force.
“My officers took every precaution to safely resolve this situation, starting with over an hour-long attempt at negotiations with the subject,” Belmar said. “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.”
The St. Louis County Police Department’s Crimes Against Persons Unit is investigating the shooting.