At least nine people were arrested when protests broke out in the streets of St. Louis on Wednesday after police say two officers shot and killed an armed black teenager while attempting to carry out a search warrant.
The shooting led to roughly 150 people gathering in the streets near the Fountain Park home as outraged residents yelled at responding officers, threw glass bottles and bricks, burned an American flag, and chanted “Black Lives Matter,” according to local reports.
Police said the officers were preparing to enter the home just before noon when two black teens, allegedly carrying guns and crack cocaine, tried to escape out a back door.
As the pair made a run for it, ignoring orders to stop and drop their weapons, one of the two teens, identified as 18-year-old Mansur Ball-Bey, allegedly pointed his gun at the officers, police said.
The response led to one officer firing a single gunshot and the second firing three. Both are identified as white with about seven years on the force.
Ball-Bey was fatally wounded and pronounced dead at the scene while the second suspect, only identified as being in his mid to late teens, managed to escape, police said.
Police say they found a stolen gun and an extended magazine in Ball-Bey’s possession and that four guns and an unspecified quantity of crack cocaine were recovered at the scene. Several others inside the home were taken into custody without incident.
Videos allegedly taken on the streets and uploaded to social media showed a line of blue-clad officers marching along the road.
Another video claims to show smoke bombs being thrown.
“Another youth down by the hands of police,” Dex Dockett, 42, who lives nearby, told a reporter at the scene according to CBS News.
“They provoked the situation,” fellow neighbor Fred Price, 33, said. “Situations like this make us want to keep the police out of the neighborhood. They’re shooting first, then asking questions.”
Police said the shooting followed a plague of similar violence and crime in the neighborhood.
Just two days earlier, another shooting left one man dead on a sidewalk and a 35-year-old woman injured.
That woman said she was trying to buy illegal narcotics when gunfire erupted around her, leaving her shot in her leg, police said.
One day earlier, a 93-year-old veteran, who was part of the famed Tuskegee Airmen, was robbed in his car after pulling over for directions. After attempting to chase his thief, he was carjacked by two men he’d stopped to ask for help.
The two officers involved in Wednesday’ shooting — only identified as being ages 33 and 29 — have been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation by the Force Investigative Unit.
Once the investigation is complete, their findings will be turned over to the Circuit Attorney’s Office for review.