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Suspect in Wellston police shooting dies of wounds

Suspect in Wellston police shooting dies of wounds

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A man shot in an encounter with a Wellston police officer Saturday died Sunday.

Thomas Allen Jr., 34, of the 2900 block of Wyoming in St. Louis, died of his injuries at a hospital Sunday morning, according to the St. Louis County Police.

It marks the seventh fatal shooting by a St. Louis area law enforcement officer since last August, when 18-year-old Michael Brown was fatally wounded by Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson.

An investigation by the county Crimes Against Persons Unit is underway. But as of late Sunday, little information had been disclosed, aside from a news release. Wellston Police referred all inquiries to St. Louis County Police.

The shooting did not appear to have led to the kind of protests that have followed recent police shootings in the area.

Even so, a group of about nine people gathered outside Wellston police headquarters late Sunday afternoon, saying they were looking for additional information.

According to the news release from St. Louis County Police, the shooting occurred just after the officer pulled over a vehicle at Morton and Page avenues for a traffic violation at 10:15 a.m.

As the officer was questioning the driver, a passenger climbed into the driver’s seat and attempted to drive away, according to the release.

The officer got into the vehicle on the passenger side, and struggled with the suspect. The vehicle was traveling fast and the officer — “in fear for his life” — shot at the suspect three times, the release said.

The suspect lost control of the vehicle two blocks north of the initial stop at Morton and Chatham avenues.

The car apparently jumped a curb and stopped behind a home, but did not damage the residence.

A man who answered the door at the home would not comment on the incident Sunday afternoon. Several other nearby residents said they did not witness the incident.

Allen was taken to a hospital, where he was listed in critical condition.

The officer was also taken to a hospital for treatment, according to the release. No information was given about the nature of any injuries, his condition or his identity.

The news release did not specify the reason for the traffic stop or say whether Allen or anyone else in the vehicle was armed.

Stephen Deere • 314-340-8116

@stephencdeere on Twitter
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