ST. LOUIS – St. Louis police officers fatally shot a 19-year-old who was riding in a stolen car after he got out and refused to drop a gun with an extended magazine that could hold dozens of rounds, authorities said.
Just before 10 p.m. Wednesday, officers on patrol spotted a vehicle that was reported stolen last month, St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and KDSK-TV.
Dotson said the stolen car “took off at a high rate of speed” after it made an illegal turn and a police car turned as well, trying to get behind them.
Additional officers responded to the area and saw “the car going up and down alleys,” Dotson said.
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The police chief said the stolen car eventually crashed into a wall, causing its engine to fail. When two officers approached the vehicle, the 19-year-old passenger got out holding a gun.
Officers told the man to drop the gun, and when he refused to do so, both officers opened fire, wounding him, according to Dotson. The chief said there were witnesses to the shooting.
Police said the 19-year-old was taken to a hospital, where he later died.
The gun the 19-year-old was carrying had “what appears to be a 30-round magazine in it, so it’s capable of firing 30 bullets at somebody in a very short period of time,” Dotson said.
Dotson said the car’s driver, who was also 19, cooperated with officers and was taken into custody.
Dotson didn’t identify the dead passenger but said he had a criminal history that included auto theft and burglary.
He said both officers had worked for the department for about eight years. Neither was injured, KMOV-TV reported.
About an hour after the shooting, a few protesters were at the scene changing, “No justice, no peace,” according to the newspaper.