The St. Louis Police Department released cell phone video of Tuesday’s officer-involved shooting of a shoplifter armed with a knife.
The video shows two officers exit a single patrol car and order Kajieme Powell, 25, to drop his knife. Instead, Powell refused and was fatally shot.
The police were responding to a call from a shop owner who suspected Powell of stealing some energy drinks and donuts, and believed he had a weapon.
When the officers arrived, Powell yelled at them to shoot him. He continued walking towards the officers and when he was just feet away, they fired a total of 12 shots.
St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson said that while the officers could have used a Taser to stop Powell, lethal force was an appropriate response.
“Certainly a Taser is an option that’s available to the officers, but Tasers aren’t 100 percent,” Dotson said. “So you’ve got an individual with a knife who’s moving towards you, not listening to any verbal commands, continues, says,’ shoot me now, kill me now,’ Tasers aren’t 100 percent. If that Taser misses, that [individual] continues on and hurts an officer.”