ST. LOUIS • A man who threatened to harm police and commit suicide was fatally shot by an officer during an exchange of gunfire Friday night at the man’s south side home, police said.
Police said the man was Jamie Robinson, 33, of the 4800 block of Hamburg Avenue.
Interim Police Chief Lawrence O’Toole said Saturday that the incident started at 8:20 p.m. when a man called 911 saying he was going to harm officers and kill himself.
O’Toole said when police arrived, they heard gunshots fired from inside a house on Hamburg, near Gravois Avenue and River des Peres Boulevard just east of the city-county line. A section of Gravois was closed off, and additional officers arrived.
SWAT team members established communication with Robinson and tried to get him to give up, O’Toole said. O’Toole said Robinson continued to say that he would harm himself and fired at the officers.
A tactical officer fired one shot, killing Robinson, O’Toole said. No officers were injured.
O’Toole said Robinson was armed with a high-powered SKS 7.62-caliber rifle. Police recovered a minimum of 11 spent cases, he said. He said 180 rounds of ammunition were found in the home.
O’Toole said officers in five separate communications totaling 26 minutes tried to persuade Robinson to give up. “That states clearly that his intent was to harm officers and then himself,” he said.
O’Toole added that “what this is really about is mental illness.”
O’Toole, at a news conference, said Robinson had a criminal history but did not elaborate. “Right now we are trying to find out what went wrong last night,” he said. “He had planned some kind of event.”
He said officers handle mental illness-related calls of various types on a daily basis. “You hear about the ones that go terribly wrong,” he said. “It’s really mental illness combined with firearms.”
Nassim Benchaabane of the Post-Dispatch contributed to this report.