ST. LOUIS, Aug. 20 (UPI) — Missouri police officers subdued protesters with tear gas Wednesday evening after an armed man was shot dead by authorities earlier in the day, officials said.
Nine people were arrested in St. Louis Wednesday evening, officials said, after officers had to use the gas to disperse the crowd. According to police, some of the demonstrators threw bottles and bricks at officers before it was decided to use tear gas.
The arrests followed a day full of tension between angry protesters and police. Earlier, officials said, the crowds would toy with police by gathering, dispersing and then gathering again.
The shooting resulted from a search warrant officers had to search a house in a nearby neighborhood. When police arrived, they say two men ran out the back — both of whom were armed with a handgun.
“Officers in the rear alley ordered them to stop and to drop the gun. As they ran, one of the individuals turned and pointed the gun at the officers. There were two officers in the alley. Both officers fired,” St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson said.
The black man who died was 18-year-old Mansur Ball-Bey, USA Today reported. After he was shot, Bey collapsed a short distance away. The other suspect remained at large Wednesday evening.
A short time later, the protests began.
“The crowd ignored repeated requests and directions, inert smoke was used,” Dotson said. “After that didn’t have an effect, tear gas was used.”
A police officer said at least one vehicle was set on fire and some nearby businesses were burglarized during the demonstrations.
Many in the crowd were vocal of their displeasure with police use of deadly force — and some chanted, “black lives matter,” which was a slogan used a year ago when Michael Brown was shot dead in Ferguson.
“Another youth down by the hands of police,” resident Dex Dockett said. “What could have been done different to de-escalate rather than escalate? They (police) come in with an us-against-them mentality. You’ve got to have the right kind of cops to engage in these types of neighborhoods.”