St. Louis County Police released a body camera video of the four minutes or so leading up to the deadly shooting of 23-year-old Thaddeus McCarroll late Friday night in Jennings, Missouri. McCarroll, who police said was under serious mental distress, charged a group of officers after a two-hour standoff, according to a police statement.
McCarroll’s mother called 911 at 9:20 p.m. on Friday night and asked police to remove her son from the house, but McCarroll refused to exit when police arrived. She told police he locked her out of the house and was speaking of a “mission” and a “black revolution.” When police arrived, they saw McCarroll in the house armed with knives and a samurai sword. After about an hour, officers on scene called in the Tactical Operations Unit, which included a negotiator.
The body camera footage released by the department shows the negotiator talking to McCarroll after he purportedly exited the house wielding a knife. McCarroll repeatedly told police to leave and that he was “pissed off because you guys won’t leave me alone,” but police were unable to further the conversation. Missourinet transcribed the conversation between McCarroll and the negotiator leading up to the shooting.
“After approximately one hour of negotiations, the subject exited the residence armed with a knife in one hand, and a bible in the other,” read a police statement, according to NBC. Just prior to the shooting, the negotiator is heard telling McCarroll, “I need to know why you’re angry. Is it your mom? Is it you?” Police then fired a rubber bullet at McCarroll’s leg to get him to drop the knife, but McCarroll charged instead.
“The subject immediately charged the officers at full run with the knife still in hand,” read the statement. “Fearing for their safety, two officers shot the subject multiple times.”
Shooting occurs at the 3:39 mark of the video below:
St Louis Police Chief Jon Belmar called it a “tragic situation” and said the officers on-scene “took every precaution to safely resolve this situation.” The death comes in a year of intense scrutiny of police after a spate of officer-involved deaths of unarmed individuals, including the death of 18-year-old black man, Michael Brown, in neighboring Ferguson, Missouri. Brown's death at the hands of a white police officer and what critics call a heavy-handed response by police to a series of protests following his death, prompted a national discussion about the state of race relations in the United States, particularly the relationship between white officers and black citizens.