A 21-year-old in a stolen SUV flipped the vehicle and was shot dead by St. Louis city police after pointing a gun at officers, authorities say. Two passengers, including a sixteen-year-old, survived.
The chaotic string of events began about 12:30 p.m. on Monday when officers were alerted to the stolen vehicle by an electronic license plate reader, police Chief Sam Dotson told reporters.
Police didn't know it at the time, but both the driver and a 23-year-old passenger were felons, and they had guns in the SUV, Dotson says.
Two officers followed the silver-colored vehicle from Page and Goodfellow boulevards, calling for backup patrol cars and a helicopter as they went. The SUV, which had a flat tire, sped east on Page, eventually crashing and rolling onto its top near North Taylor Avenue, Dotson says.
Officers began walking toward the SUV when the driver leaned over and pointed a gun at them, Dotson says. One of the officers squeezed off four to six rounds, hitting the driver an unknown number of times.
The officers retreated and waited for backup, Dotson says. When help arrived, they moved in and pulled out both passengers. The driver was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.
The two passengers weren't shot, but they were being checked out by medical staff for injuries from the crash.
Police didn't immediately release the names of the driver or passengers, but Dotson says the driver was convicted of burglary in 2014. The 23-year-old passenger was convicted in 2013 of first-degree robbery.
"You're driving around in a stolen car with two guns and you're convicted felons — certainly there was a reason they didn't want to be stopped by police," Dotson says.
The SUV had been reported stolen on December 5 from St. Louis County.
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