ST. LOUIS • Thirteen seconds.
That’s how long it took for what started as a St. Louis police officer’s approaching a stolen car to escalate to a fatal shooting by police, according to surveillance footage the department released Friday afternoon.
The two-minute video of the Dec. 12 shooting was captured by surveillance cameras at the BP gas station at Goodfellow Boulevard and Lillian Avenue.
The video begins with a summary of the encounter, saying officers “observed a stolen vehicle while on patrol.” The video highlights the police vehicle as it parks in front of a stolen 2004 Hyundai Santa Fe, which was at a gas pump.
The video shows an officer approaching the SUV and opening the driver’s side door. The Hyundai suddenly reverses, spins around on the parking lot with the officer inside the driver’s side, and strikes another gas pump. The officer falls to the ground with his weapon drawn.
The Hyundai’s driver, Demario Bass, 29, died from a gunshot wound to the chest. The officer, 31, with about two years on the force, suffered “significant” head injuries while he was pinned between the open door and the body of the stolen SUV, according to Chief John Hayden.
“As the Chief stated, we believe the officer discharged his weapon some time between confronting the suspect at the driver-door of the suspect vehicle and when the vehicle was involved in the accident,” said a statement by the police department.
The police department also included a slowed-down version of the encounter.
The video also shows officers rendering aid to Bass while waiting for paramedics.
Police found drugs in the SUV but did not find a gun, the press statement says. The vehicle had been stolen two days before the encounter.
The officer has been released from the hospital and is recovering at home, according to the release.
The fatal shooting is the only one so far this year by St. Louis police officers. Last year, there were at least eight.