St. Louis family outraged after FBI, police stage early morning raid

ST. LOUIS – A local family is outraged after FBI agents and St. Louis police raided their south city home Tuesday morning, months after a 21-year-old was killed during a standoff in that very residence.

The raid took place just before 5 a.m. in the 5400 block of south Kingshighway; that’s in the Princeton Heights neighborhood.

A police spokesperson said officers arrested two people after executing a search warrant for a robbery investigation. The two people arrested did not live at the residence. Police also recovered several firearms and stolen property from the home.

The family said authorities tossed flashbangs into a bedroom where children were sleeping.

Gina Torres, the woman who lives at the residence, said clothes and other items were burned when flashbangs came through a window into the room where her six and 10-year-old boys were sleeping. She said another flashbang was thrown in the bedroom of her 69-year-old, father who is ill.

Torres said the actions of police and FBI agents were unnecessary because she going to open the door to let them inside.

“I hear yelling out here, I come and say, ‘I'm opening the door, I'm opening the door!’” she said. “They're all coming in screaming, I’m like, ‘My kids are in there’ and they’re shooting flashbangs in there where my kids are sleeping!”

Torres is the mother of 21-year-old Isaiah Hamett, who was shot and killed by police at the home in June. Police said Hamett fired at officers as they executed a search warrant for drug dealing and illegal guns. Police returned fire and killed him.

“I should not be going through this,” Torres said. “They too my child from me, what more do they want? They took my child!”

Meanwhile, an activist group is questioning police.

“For instance, there was dispute over whether the flashbangs had been used in that earlier raid, so now there's evidence of flashbang grenades in the home,” said John Chasnoff, spokesman for the Coalition Against Police Crimes and Repression. “We don’t know if some of the evidence from the earlier raid has been somehow compromised. “

When reached for comment, the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department referred reporters to the FBI because they executed the search warrant. However, the FBI released a statement saying, in part, its agents were there for law enforcement purposes authorized by the court.