A retired St. Louis police captain was killed overnight Monday as he attempted to thwart looting at a pawnshop as protests and riots raged across the city over the death of George Floyd, according to local reports.
KMOV-TV’s Laura Hettiger first reported the news, tweeting that sources notified her that the unnamed former officer was killed at killed outside Lee’s Pawn and Jewelry on Martin Luther King Street in North St. Louis. No further details are known at this time.
— Laura Hettiger (@LauraKHettiger) June 2, 2020
The Ethical Society of Police of St. Louis said of the reported killing: “One of the people murdered last night was a retired St. Louis City Captain. He was murdered by looters at a pawnshop. He was the type of brother that would’ve given his life to save them if he had to. Violence is not the answer, whether it’s a citizen or officer. RIP Captain!”
One of the people murdered last night was a retired St. Louis City Captain. He was murdered by looters at a pawnshop. He was the type of brother that would’ve given his life to save them if he had to.
Violence is not the answer, whether it’s a citizen or officer.
— Ethical Society of Police – ESOP (@ESOP_STL) June 2, 2020
The development comes St. Louis confirmed four officers were shot by gunfire after peaceful protests turned violent overnight, with rioters stealing goods and setting buildings ablaze in the downtown area.
We have had 4 officers struck by gunfire tonight. All have been transported to an area hospital. All are conscious and breathing. Their injuries are believed to be non-life threatening.
Officers are still taking gunfire downtown & we will share more info as it available. pic.twitter.com/Cwypi5EorP
— St. Louis, MO Police (@SLMPD) June 2, 2020
The chaos in St. Louis followed continued protests Monday in Missouri over the death of George Floyd and police treatment of African Americans, with gatherings also held in Kansas City and Jefferson City.
“The police officer shootings in St. Louis overnight are despicable,” Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) said in a statement. “My prayers go out to the officers and their families. And my heartfelt thanks goes to them as well. These officers, and thousands more around our state, choose to put their lives on the line every day, and every night, to protect the neighborhoods we call home. The perpetrators who attacked them last night must be brought to justice.”
“And we must bring order to our cities and towns now. Violence threatens to destroy the fabric of our communities and undermine our ability to live and act together,” he added. Every American has a right to assemble and protest peaceably, but mindless violence is not protest, it is further injustice that harms us all.”
The AP contributed to this report.