Knife-wielding man shot, killed by police identified

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by Stephanie Baumer / KMOV.com staff

KMOV.com

Posted on August 19, 2014 at 1:08 PM

Updated Wednesday, Aug 20 at 1:46 PM

Officer-involved shooting

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ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) –The 25-year-old man shot and killed after showing a knife to an officer in North St. Louis Tuesday was identified.

Kajieme Powell was killed in an officer-involved shooting around 12:30 p.m. at McLaran Avenue and Riverview Drive in North St. Louis.

According to Chief Dotson, Powell stole two energy drinks from the Six Stars Market in the 8700 block of Riverview. Dotson said after the suspect walked out of the store with the drinks, he went back inside the store and grabbed a pastry. Dotson said the store owner followed the suspect out of the store and police were dispatched to the area.

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According to police, the suspect pulled out a knife and was acting erratically when officers arrived. Dotson told reporters the suspect told responding officers to “shoot me now, kill me now.”   Dotson said officers asked the suspect to drop the knife, which he was holding in an overhead grip, and the suspect refused to do. 

When the suspect approached the officers carrying a knife, officers fired shots striking the suspect. The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene of the shooting.

When asked about the validity of the shooting, Dotson said officers "have a right to defend yourself." 

Mayor Francis Slay tweeted that there will be a "complete and transparent" investigation into the shooting.  He pledged that St. Louis "will know everything I know."

A large, peaceful crowd quickly came to the scene of the shooting.  Some said police had other options, and did not have use lethal force.

"It's in their best interest, with Ferguson and everything going on, to use a taser," said Tommy Lee, a resident of the area.  

"A knife cannot puncture a vest," another resident said.

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