Police in St. Louis have released a shocking and graphic cell phone video of officers fatally shooting a man with a knife who allegedly robbed an area convenience store just prior.
25-year-old Kajieme Powell was shot dead by two officers as he wielded a knife at them and yelled, “Shoot me! Shoot me now!” Just prior to the shooting, Powell had allegedly robbed a nearby convenience store, and that incident was captured on surveillance cameras.
St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson now says that Powell advanced towards the officers while holding a knife in a “threatening manner” and that the officers shot him out of fear for their lives.
“If a person is charging you with a knife and they’re within 3 or 4 feet, that’s a lethal range for a knife,” said Dotson in a press conference.
Still, some witnesses say that the officers went too far.
"Both officers fired at least five shots from their weapons," said Robert Addison, a witness to the shooting, to the Riverfront Times. "I thought it was excessive. Shooting him multiple times like that? He was going down from the one shot. They opened up on him."
Reports say that Powell may have had mental problems, and police now believe he was trying to commit “suicide by cop.”
Powell’s death sparked outrage in St. Louis, and protests began in the streets not long after. This comes just days after the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown in nearby Ferguson, Missouri at the hands of Officer Darren Wilson. That incident has brought about violent riots in the city and attention from all over the world.
The extremely graphic video of Powell's shooting is below.