On Friday, a Black man identified as Thaddeus McCarroll, 23, was shot and killed by the St. Louis County Police for allegedly charging at them with a knife in his hand as he carried a Bible in the other.
The altercation began a little before 9:30 pm in the St. Louis suburb of Jennings. McCarroll’s mother had called police for help because her son had locked himself in his room and was behaving abnormally. When cops arrived at their home, his mother reportedly informed them that he had a knife in his possession and was talking of being on a “mission” and “black revolution.”
According to the Huffington Post, it took cops over an hour to coerce McCarroll out of his room. When he finally came out, he was carrying a knife and a copy of the Bible. A cop named Jason can be heard on his body cam asking him to “Drop the knife and come down to us.” The cop can also can be heard asking the man, “What are you p*ssed off about Thaddeaus” and “Why are you carrying a knife?”
As Jason attempted to console Thaddeaus, another cop in the background is heard counting the steps he’s taken so far while still holding a knife (“Two more steps”).
Unfortunately, the potentially calm moment did not last long and when McCarroll allegedly got closer, shots were fired and he was dead in minutes.
The next day, St. Louis Police Chief Jon Belmar released a statement to the media after the tragedy. He acknowledged the mourning of the McCarroll family and that officers on the scene did try to mediate the situation:
“This is another tragic situation where police officers had no other option than to use deadly force against an armed subject. A family lost a loved one tonight and that is tragic, there is no understating that. My officers took every precaution to safely resolve this situation, starting with over an hour-long attempt at negotiations with the subject.”
It is not yet confirmed whether McCarroll suffered from a mental illness prior to that fatal night.