(St. Louis) (AP) – A large crowd of angry residents confronted police officers Saturday afternoon, yelling such things as “kill the police” after an officer fatally shot a male in a St. Louis-area neighborhood.
Officer Brian Schellman, spokesman for the St. Louis County Police Department, said “a couple hundred” people came out of apartment buildings after an officer with the Ferguson Police Department shot and killed the male.
The shooting victim was later identified as 18-year-old Michael Brown, a 2014 graduate of Normandy High School who was scheduled to begin classes at Vatterott College on Monday. Witnesses at the scene say Brown did not have a weapon when the shooting occurred.
John Gaskin, a member of the St. Louis County NAACP, called on the FBI’s assistance was needed “to protect the integrity of the investigation.”
“With the recent events of a young man killed by the police in New York City and with Trayvon Martin and with all the other African-American young men that have been killed by police officers … this is a dire concern to the NAACP, especially our local organization,” Gaskin said.
Gaskin said officials in the organization spoke with St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar, who told them the male was a teenager and had been shot twice.
After the shooting, some people yelled threats toward the police, and officers said they thought they heard gunshots, Schellman said. There were no reports of additional injuries, he said.
After the crowd gathered, police at the scene called for about 60 other police units to respond to the area in Ferguson, a city of about 21,000 residents located a few miles north of downtown St. Louis. According to the U.S. Census Bureau from 2012, about two-thirds of the residents are black.
Schellman said the crowd was under control by about 5 p.m. and several of the additional officers had left the area.
Gaskin said the angry crowd was reacting to a “trauma.”
“Anytime you have this type of event that’s taken place, emotions are going to run high,” he said. “But for 600 people to gather around an area to see where a man is lying in the street, that means something happened that should have not happened.”