Kajieme Powell, a St. Louis resident, was shot and killed by police Tuesday, just a few miles from the tension that continues to simmer in Ferguson, Mo.
In a case that has drawn parallels to the death of Michael Brown for more reasons than geographic proximity, officers claimed they feared for their lives.
Powell charged at them with a knife, which he held with an “overhand grip” and came within 3-4 feet of the officers, they say, at which time they fired.
The fatal confrontation was captured on this graphic cell phone video:
The incident stemmed from a call by a Six Star Market owner after Powell allegedly stole two energy drinks, according to local news station KSDK.
Reports from witnesses claim that Powell was behaving erratically, pacing back and forth on the street and talking to himself, while carrying the knife.
St. Louis Metro Police Chief Sam Dotson said the officers only shot because this was a suspect with a knife coming within 3-4 feet of the officers.
This cell phone video of the altercation calls into question, at least in part, the officers' version of events, and Dotson’s defense of them, however.
Told by two officers to drop the knife, Powell begins yelling “shoot me, shoot me, shoot me now,” as he walks onto a ledge then steps off as if to approach.
He is killed almost immediately upon stepping toward the police.
Hands at his sides, it appears to some observers as if Powell never came within more than 10 feet of them before they shot him dead on the spot.
Given the protests in Ferguson, the city, state and nation are understandably on edge over controversial cases such as this and Michael Brown's.
While Powell's actions would give anybody pause, we are once again left with a case that has sparked widespread controversy over the use of lethal force.
What do you think? Watch the video above and comment below.