The fatal shooting of an 18-year-old black man in south St. Louis by an off-duty police officer sparked a night of unrest in a city still reeling from the August slaying of an unarmed man in nearby Ferguson.
Wednesday's shooting happened at about 7:30 p.m. in the city's Shaw Neighborhood, and involved an officer working a department-approved secondary job for a private security company, Police Chief Sam Dotson said at an early-morning news conference.
The officer approached a group of men. One of the men took off running, Dotson said, so the officer pursued. Dotson said the suspect approached the officer in an "aggressive" manner, with a physical altercation occurring. The man then turned and fired three rounds at the officer before his gun jammed, Dotson said.
The officer, who was not injured, returned fire, shooting 17 times and fatally wounding the man, Dotson said.
A gun was recovered at the scene. The officer was placed on administrative leave, as per department policy, police said.
Police have not identified the officer or the man he killed.
The incident comes nearly two months to the day after the police shooting of Michael Brown, 18, in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, located about 20 miles away. Brown's shooting sparked weeks of protests and spawned national discourse about police use of force.
Some of the people protesting recently in Ferguson were seen in St. Louis after Wednesday's shooting, Dotson said.
“Tensions in the region are very high,” Dotson said. “Any police officer use of force certainly will draw attention.”
St. Louis Alderman Antonio French, who documented the turmoil in Ferguson after Brown's Aug. 9 shooting death, reflected on the region's renewed anguish.
"At the scene of yet another young man's death,” he wrote on Twitter. “This happens too often in our city. It's a crisis that we should all be concerned about.”
Activists took to the streets of St. Louis overnight, marching and chanting, seeking answers.
Some police vehicles were damaged during the protests, with windows smashed, Dotson said.
People also shared their frustration on social media, with #shawshooting the most popular national trending topic on Twitter.