Tear gas & ‘flaming barricade’: Protesters confront St. Louis cops over fatal shooting
St. Louis police have been confronted by residents after officers fatally shot a black suspect. At least nine people were arrested, police said, but continued protest resulted in officers deploying tear gas and rubber bullets. Several fires were reported.
Shortly after the shooting near Page Boulevard and Walton Avenue in St. Louis, residents took to the street and blocked traffic in protest. They reportedly demanded to know why the officers killed the suspect.
According to police, the suspect pointed a gun at the officers before they shot him.
Although officials said three people were arrested early in the day, protesters continued to stay out until the evening. At one point, police deployed tear gas and rubber bullets against demonstrators, according to those on the ground. Nine people were arrested during the protests.
Meanwhile, several fires were spotted throughout the area. One fire engulfed what appeared to be a vacant building, although it's unclear if the incident is related to the protest.
Building on Fire on 1300 block of Baynard pic.twitter.com/6qbhpYQ22t— Search4Swag (@search4swag) August 20, 2015
Videos posted online showed firefighters arriving to try and put the flames out.
Fire fighting crews have arrived. pic.twitter.com/bLV39uc21l— Search4Swag (@search4swag) August 20, 2015
Elsewhere, some individuals set up a "flaming barricade" near Page Boulevard.
A car was also set on fire.
Police later identified the deceased suspect as 18-year-old Mansur Ball-Bey. They said he was armed with a firearm with an extended magazine.
As protesters demanded answers from police, those on the ground said they had begun to arrest some individuals.
Police arresting man about to grab neck of person questioning why pic.twitter.com/yQbKehWjGZ— Jesse Bogan (@JesseBogan) August 19, 2015
Ball-Bey was not alone, police said. Officers were preparing to execute a search warrant on a local house when two black males ran out the back door, both armed with weapons, police said.
After being ordered to drop their weapons, police said one of the suspects pointed his gun at the officers. This prompted both officers to fire a total of four shots and strike him. Ball-Bey was pronounced dead at the scene while the second suspect, who they said possessed crack cocaine and two guns, remains on the loose.
Police said Ball-Bey's gun was found to have been stolen. Four guns total were recovered as well as crack cocaine.
Soon after the shooting, the street was full of nearly 100 residents, the Post-Dispatch reported. Police warned them that they were assembling unlawfully before a total of three arrests.
Scene of officer involved shooting in STL. Apparent relative of man killed by police sits in street. pic.twitter.com/eFDbXATxek— Jesse Bogan (@JesseBogan) August 19, 2015
Those at the scene have said that tensions are running high. One reporter said a plastic bottle was thrown at police.
Officers in the area are heavily armed and sporting riot gear, according to pictures posted on social media.
Wednesday's shooting came on the same day that residents were commemorating the one-year anniversary of the death of Kajieme Powell, who was also shot by police. Powell was killed for brandishing a knife against officers.