Police: Teen in critical condition after exchanging gunfire with officers in St. Louis

Posted at 8:36 PM, Oct 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-02 22:36:29-04

By Emanuella Grinberg


(CNN) — A 14-year-old boy is in critical but stable condition after St. Louis Metropolitan police officers shot him, officials said Sunday.

Officers were investigating a possible carjacking Sunday morning when they encountered the unidentified black teen, St. Louis Metropolitan Police spokeswoman Leah Freeman said in a statement.

He started to flee, then turned around with a gun drawn and fired at least one shot at the officers, Freeman said.

“Fearing for their safety,” both officers returned fire, striking the teen, the statement said. He dropped the weapon and continued running until he was taken into custody.

The gun was found at the scene and is being processed. The incident is being investigated by the department’s Force Investigative Unit, which formed in 2014 to investigate use of deadly force incidents, and the Circuit Attorney’s Office.

Investigators are searching for any possible surveillance video in the area. The officers were not wearing body cameras and their vehicle did not have a dashboard camera, Police Chief Sam Dotson said in a news conference.

St. Louis Police officers do not have body cameras, though some sergeants participated in a pilot program testing the technology last year. Law enforcement agencies in the state began experimenting with the technology after the deadly police shooting of 19-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, a suburb of St. Louis.

Per department policy, both officers, who are white men, have been placed on administrative leave.