Excerpted via NBC: Two St. Louis city police officers shot and killed a black man who came within several feet of them brandishing a knife on Tuesday a few miles from the turbulent suburb of Ferguson, authorities said.
A crowd of at least 100 people quickly gathered at the scene. Some people chanted, “Hands up! Don’t shoot!” — the refrain from a week of protests over the police killing of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, three miles away.
The man in the St. Louis shooting, 23, had taken energy drinks and a package of pastries from a nearby convenience store, Police Chief Sam Dotson told reporters. He said that the man was “acting erratically, walking back and forth, up and down the street.”
The chief said that the officers repeatedly ordered the man to drop the knife and drew their weapons after he did not drop it. The chief said the man told the police: “Shoot me now. Kill me now.”
He said the two officers fired after the man moved toward one of them and came within 3 to 4 feet.
“One of the witnesses described it as a suicide by cop,” Dotson said.
There was a heavy police presence at the scene, and police marked off the intersection with yellow tape. Antonio French, a St. Louis alderman who was arrested last week during protests over the Brown killing, urged the crowd to maintain peace.