EAST ST. LOUIS • A nude man armed with a shotgun and a pistol was killed in an exchange of shots with police here Monday morning after he stood in a street firing at homes and pointing a weapon at passing motorists, officials said.
Illinois State Police, who are investigating but did not participate in the shooting, identified the dead man as Jason Brooks, 41, of East St. Louis.
“Brooks discharged a weapon at bystanders and then in the direction of two black, male officers, who returned fire,” according to a prepared statement from the state police. Brooks also is black. No one else was wounded.
East St. Louis Police Chief Michael Hubbard said the man was spotted in the street at 16th Street and Gaty Avenue about 6 a.m.
Officers from several departments, including Washington Park, rushed to the scene. The man was still firing when two officers arrived, said Washington Park police Chief Tony Tomlinson.
“Some cars where hit, and there were bullets in houses,” Tomlinson said. Police “felt he was a threat, and he was pointing at cars. They realized that they couldn’t de-escalate it and thought everyone out there was in danger.”
One of the officers shot the gunman, Tomlinson said.
Brooks died later at a hospital.
Witnesses said they heard at least 12 shots fired.
Neighbors said the man was acting erratically. One said she saw him swinging what looked like a baseball bat and shouting in the street over the past few days.
“He was sick,” said another neighbor, who declined to give her name. “He needed help.”
Kristen Taketa of the Post-Dispatch contributed to this report.