In what marks the seventh fatal shooting involving St. Louis-area cops since Michael Brown’s death last August, a Wellston police officer mortally injured a man during a traffic stop Saturday.
Thirty-four-year-old Thomas Allen Jr. died of his injuries at a hospital Sunday morning, police say. According to a news release, Allen was originally a backseat passenger in the car when the unidentified officer pulled the vehicle over at about 10:15 a.m. As the driver, also unidentified, spoke with the officer, Allen jumped into driver’s seat and attempted to flee. Before driving off, the officer climbed in the passenger’s side of the car, where a struggle ensued.
That’s when the officer, partially inside the vehicle and struggling with Allen as the vehicle traveled at a high speed, shot him three times. Allen lost control of the vehicle, jumping a curb and stopping behind a home.
According to the release, the officer was “in fear for his life.”
Allen was taken to a nearby hospital, where he later died. The officer involved in the shooting was also taken to a hospital to be treated — police told KTVI-TV the officer suffered minor scrapes and was later released.
It is unclear why the officer pulled the vehicle over, or if the occupants were armed. An investigation continues.