Family disputes police in fatal south St. Louis officer involved shooting

ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) - A man was shot and killed Tuesday night by police as they attempted to serve a search warrant in south St. Louis. Family members of Don Clark, 63, say he was a 12 year service veteran and they believe police had the wrong house. Chief Sam Dotson says this was a 6-month-long drug investigation involving the address, and the shooting was justified

Clark's son says his father was a United States veteran, father of 7, and a grandfather. They believe police raided the wrong home.

Investigators tell FOX 2 that it all unfolded around 9pm Tuesday in the 4000 block of California avenue in south St. Louis. Officers were serving three warrants related to a 6-month-long drug investigation. When police arrived at a third location on California and Osage at around 8:30pm no one answered the door, so they used a battering ram to knock it down. That's when Chief Sam Dotson says the man inside fired a shot at police.

Officers released a flash bang before the suspect fired another shot. At that point, one officer, a 40-year-old, 12-year service veteran, fired one shot back. No officers were hurt.

The St. Louis City Police Department says they are standing by their statement they were at the right house and the man fired at officers first. The officer has been placed on administrative leave as the investigation is ongoing. This is a department policy whenever a suspect is shot.

Clark's family members will hold a vigil Tuesday at 7pm in front of his home.