ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis police shot and killed a 61-year-old Sudanese refugee after he reportedly lunged at an officer after a long standoff, authorities said.
The confrontation on Wednesday began when officers were serving felony warrants for assault, resisting arrest and a weapons charge, Lt. John Green said.
After the man barricaded himself in an apartment, police used tasers, tear gas, robots and other nonlethal means to end the standoff, Green said, but they were unsuccessful.
Officers also tried to negotiate with him in English and Arabic, his native language, Green said.
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When a SWAT team eventually entered the apartment, officers fired at least seven shots when the man charged an officer with a knife, Green said. No one else was in the apartment.
Friends said the man and his children immigrated to the U.S. about five years ago, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
Veii Kauaria, who works with Organization for Black Struggle and speaks Arabic, said he was disappointed officers wouldn’t let him negotiate with the man.
“It just didn’t have to happen like this,” said Kauaria. “He was afraid. All he saw was this SWAT team with big guns, thinking they were going to kill him and they did.”