St. Louis County Police have shot and killed a man who had locked his mother out of their home in Jennings before, officers say, he came outside and charged at them with a knife.
Chief Jon Belmar is defending the actions of his officers in the incident, which is being investigated by the Department’s Crimes Against Persons Unit.
According to a statement from the department, 23-year-old Thaddeus McCarroll’s mother had called the department’s Jennings Precinct at about 9:20 Friday night and asked that her son be removed from their home due to his behavior. Police say in the statement she said he had locked her out of the house and was armed with a knife, talking about going on a “journey” and a “mission” and mentioning a “black revolution.”
Officers said they could see McCarroll through the residence’s windows, carrying several knives and a samurai sword. Police say attempts to speak with the subject and get him to come out of the residence failed.
A tactical unit was called at about 10:30 and took over the scene. After about an hour McCarroll came out of the residence. Police say he had a knife in one hand and a Bible in the other.
Police say he ignored commands to put down the knife and say as he got closer to officers, one fired a rubber bullet at him that they say was ineffective. Then, police say, he charged at officers at a full run.
“Fearing for their safety,” the statement says, two officers shot McCarroll multiple times. He died at the scene.
In body camera video footage (below) of the incident a police negotiator can be heard talking to McCarroll in the minutes before the shooting:
Negotiator – “Thaddeus, what do you need tonight to stop this?”
McCarroll – “I need you to leave now!”
Negotiator – “Why do you need me to leave? Your mom’s worried about you.”
McCarroll – “It’s too late for that now. I’m pissed!”
Negotiator – “What are you pissed off about, Thaddeus?”
McCarroll – “I’m pissed off because you guys won’t leave me alone.”
Negotiator – “Why are you carrying a knife, Thaddeus?”
McCarroll – “Because.”
Negotiator – “Thaddeus, do you know we are not here to harm you?”
McCarroll – “I don’t care.”
Negotiator – “Can you tell me a little about why this started? I have no idea. I’m just getting bits and pieces. Why did this start tonight?”
Negotiator – “Thaddeus, my name is Jason.”
Negotiator – “I want to know what’s going on because I’m going to have two stories tonight. Your mom’s telling me one story but I want to hear your story. I know you’re upset.”
McCarroll – “Back away from the house now!”
Negotiator – “Unfortunately we cannot do that tonight, Thaddeus. We need to know that you’re going to be okay starting right now.”
Thaddeus – (unintelligible)
Negotiator – “We will walk away from your house but first I want to know why you’re angry tonight.”
McCarroll – “Because you guys won’t leave.”
Negotiator – “Just because we won’t leave, Thaddeus, is not the reason why you’re angry. I need to know why you’re angry. Is it your mom? Is it you?”
A department spokesman told Missourinet additional footage could released after other cameras’ contents are downloaded and reviewed.
“This is another tragic situation where police officers had no other option than to use deadly force against an armed subject,” Chief Jon Belmar is quoted as saying in the statement. “A family lost a loved one tonight and that is tragic, there is no understating that.”
“My officers took every precaution to safely resolve this situation, starting with over an hour-long attempt at negotiations with the subject,” Belmar continued. “The officers resorted to less-lethal force to try and bring the incident to a safe conclusion with no loss of life, but this individual made the decision to refuse these attempts, and charge at officers with a deadly weapon.”