(KMOV) -- Officers are urged to be cautious after threats were written on the side of a local restaurant where an officer-involved shooting happened on Tuesday afternoon.
Authorities report that some spray painted threatening words on the Church's Chicken restaurant building located at Riverview and Thekla sometime late Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning. Officials said the words are directed toward police. The graffiti threats say, "you are next," "RIP BA," and "'expletive the police."
St. Louis Police Chief Dan Isom said the department has no choice but to take the threats seriously and treat them as being credible. The police force will double in the district where the threats have taken place.
“(Police officers) always have their bullet-proof vests on,” Isom said. “The most important thing is to make officers aware that the threat is out there so they can be cautious in any of their encounters.”
Mayor Francis Slay believes that these threats are a result of the city taking strong actions against criminals, but is also concerned with the nature of the threats.
“Our crime has dropped by 40 percent in the last five years and that is because of the good work of the police department,” Mayor Slay said. “It looks like the thugs are feeling the pressure.”
On Tuesday, officers saw two men exchanging what police believed to be drugs at the restaurant. When they approached the suspects, one reached for something in a vehicle. Officers feared the suspect was reaching for a weapon, so they opened fire.
One suspect took off in his vehicle, and police gave chase. The chase ended when officers rammed the suspect's vehicle, causing it to spin out of control. When officers approached the suspect's vehicle, they saw the suspect reaching under his seat. In fear for their safety, the officers fired multiple shots at the suspect, killing him.
The deceased suspect has been identified as Anthony Lamar Smith, 24.