ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) – A man was killed during an officer-involved shooting in north St. Louis overnight.
The man has been identified as 28-year-old Cortez Shepherd of St. Louis.
According to police, shortly before 1 a.m. Thursday, two officers were on patrol in the 3900 block of Garfield, an area known for heavy drug activity, when they conducted a pedestrian check on Shepherd, who reportedly had marijuana on his lap while seated in a parked car.
When the officers, who were in uniform and driving a two-man marked vehicle, asked Shepherd to exit the vehicle, he reportedly refused.
Officers then opened the car door and removed him to effect an arrest, according to authorities. When Shepherd was searched, one of the officers allegedly found a gun in his pocket and told the other officer.
According to police, a struggle began when Shepherd attempted to retrieve the gun from his pocket. During the struggle, one of the officers deployed a taser but it reportedly had no effect.
The officer who attempted to deploy the taser then grabbed his department-issued gun and fired a shot at Shepherd, striking him in the chest.
He was taken to the hospital and later pronounced dead.
Authorities said the Shepherd’s fully-loaded revolver and three grams marijuana were recovered at the shooting scene.
During a press conference Thursday morning, St. Louis Police Chief John Hayden said a 7-year-old girl was in the car during the incident. She was not injured.
Residents in the area say the drug problem in the neighborhood is serious.
"The drugs are ridiculous. You have addicts, who use drugs, who hang out on Bishop Scott," said a woman who goes by Sister Brigette. "You see people walking, they are high, dancing down the street, running down the street hollering."
One of the officers sustained minor injuries to his hand during the incident.
The two officers involved were described as a 28-year-old with three years on the force and a 24-year-old with two years on the force.
The Force Investigation Unit responded and is handling the ongoing investigation.