ST. LOUIS - A St. Louis police officer shot and killed a man Thursday evening in a south city neighborhood.
The shooting happened around 7:45 p.m. in the 3400 block of Virginia Avenue in Benton Park West.
According to St. Louis Police Chief John Hayden, two officers were conducting a vehicle check near Grand and Gravois. As the officers approached the car, a man in the passenger seat got out of the vehicle and ran away. One officer chased after the man.
The foot chase continued to the alley behind the 3400 block of Virginia. The man being chased hoped a fence into a backyard and the officer continued his pursuit.
Hayden said the man produced a .380 caliber handgun and the officer struggled with the man over the firearm. At some point, the officer took out his own service weapon and shot the man.
The suspect who was shot, identified Friday morning as 34-year-old Demetrious Brooks of St. Charles, was taken to a local hospital where he later died. No officers were injured.
Police recovered Brooks' weapon at the scene.
The officer who killed Brooks has been on the police force for two years. The other officer has been with the department for three years.
Hayden said the area is known for high trafficking of drugs and robberies and the officers had been instructed to pay particular attention to the area. Police did not disclose why they were focused on this vehicle.
The chief said the suspect vehicle was not recovered, so it's unclear if the car had drugs in it.
The department's Force Investigation Unit is handling the case, Hayden said.