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Man shot by University City police officer last week in possible 'suicide by cop' dies

Man shot by University City police officer last week in possible 'suicide by cop' dies

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Police investigate shooting scene

Police investigate a shooting scene at a home along the 1500 block of North Hanley Road on Tuesday, March 19, 2019. Photo by Laurie Skrivan,

UPDATED at 5:40 p.m. with comments from the family.

UNIVERSITY CITY • A man shot last week in a confrontation with police has died.

James Hunn, 61, died Monday, six days after authorities say he was shot by a University City officer as he pointed a shotgun at police.

Hunn’s wife, Cathy, told the Post-Dispatch last week that he was an Army veteran who recently had suffered a stroke and was distraught over his health. Police described the March 19 shooting as a case of “suicide by cop.”

“He was just hurting so bad,” Cathy Hunn said then.

But on Tuesday, she disputed the police description of the shooting.

“That’s not true,” she said. She declined to comment further, and referred a reporter to an attorney, who could not be reached.

The confrontation was about 6 a.m. March 19 at Hunn’s home, in the 1500 block of North Hanley Road. Officers had been on the porch, yelling into the home for him to surrender, when he came from his bedroom and pointed the shotgun at police, said Capt. Fredrick Lemons of the University City Police Department.

A University City police officer fired three shots at the man. Hunn was struck in the leg and chest. He was taken to a hospital, where police say he died Monday.

No police officers were hurt, Lemons said.

The man’s wife, who has been detailing her husband’s health conditions in recent weeks on Facebook, called police early on March 19 to say he was making threatening statements and had a weapon.

Police arrived after getting her 911 call about 6 a.m. that day. Officers talked to the woman and removed her from the home.

Lemons said the officers didn’t go inside the home but instead stood on the porch and yelled “into the home to get him to talk back.”

The man told police “that he wanted to kill himself or make them kill him,” Lemons said.

Police tried to calm him down, but he kept making threats, police said. Officers began to retreat from the porch. But the man left a bedroom holding what police described as a long gun. He pointed at himself, and then at the officers.

A 26-year-old University City police officer with two years’ experience fired three shots at the man, striking him twice.

The officer was put on administrative leave, as is protocol in police-involved shootings. Police did not release the officer’s name.

Officer-involved shootings in the St. Louis area during 2019

These are the incidents of police officer shootings in the St. Louis area during 2019.

Kim Bell • 314-340-8115 @kbellpd on Twitter

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