ST. LOUIS – For the second time in less than a week, a St. Louis-area police officer has shot and killed a St. Louis-area man.
Last week, a man was shot and killed by police near the St. Louis Galleria.
Tyanna Riley, the mother of the suspect killed by police Thursday, wants answers for what happened to her 28-year-old son.
“I need to know where my son is, that it’s. That’s it,” she said.
The shooting took place in the 3900 block of Garfield, shortly before 1 a.m.
Police said they patrol that neighborhood frequently.
“The area is known for heavy drug activity,” St. Louis Police Chief John Hayden said. “Officers patrol this area to deal with drug activity.”
The chief said two police officers, ages 28 and 24, spotted a lot of people around the suspect’s vehicle. When they approached the car, they discovered the suspect, identified as Cortez Shepherd, had marijuana on his lap and narcotics.
“Was it really worth his life?” said Jacquelyn Holmes, the suspect’s sister.
Police said there was more to it than drugs and attempted to arrest Shepherd. Things then turned violent.
“The struggle continues, the partner officer notices there is a gun the person is trying to remove from his pocket, at which time the officer disengages,” Chief Hayden said.
Hayden said the 28-year-old officer first tried to use his Taser but was unsuccessful. The same officer pulled out his handgun and fired one shot into Shepherd's chest, who later died at the hospital. A 7-year-old girl inside the vehicle avoided injury by running to her mother, who was nearby.
Police released photos of some of the evidence they recovered, including Shepherd's firearm—a fully-loaded revolver—marijuana, and other drugs.
Shepherd's family said he'd just gotten out of prison for serving 9-1/2 years but they were not sure of the charges. They said he made mistakes in life. But his 10 siblings looked to him as a father figure.
“Making sure we had food, making sure we’re bathed, making sure we’re fed, you know, so we were ready for the next day,” Holmes said.
Family members said the 7-year-old girl was there at the time of night because her mother went to pick up Shepherd, her boyfriend, from a club and she didn’t want to leave the little girl home alone.
One of the police officers suffered a hand injury during the ordeal.