World Bulletin/News Desk
An 18-year-old black man was shot and killed by police late on Tuesday at a gas station in a St. Louis suburb near where unarmed teen Michael Brown was killed by a white officer in August, police and local media said.
A video feed showed the gas station cordoned off by yellow tape and guarded by police, some in helmets and carrying riot shields, with bystanders shouting at them in a tense standoff.
The shooting of Brown in the summer, and the decision not to prosecute the officer involved, set off demonstrations across the country. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch newspaper reported that some 60 people had gathered at the scene of Tuesday's incident and that at least three were arrested.
Images and video footage showed a flash, a loud bang and smoke filling an area near the gas pumps, but it was not clear whether they were caused by bystanders or the police. Local broadcaster KSDK reported people hurled rocks and bricks toward police.
Police said the man who was killed had pointed a handgun at an officer who was conducting a "routine business check" and had approached two men outside the gas station after 11 p.m. (0500 GMT) in the suburb of Berkeley.
"Fearing for his life, the Berkeley Officer fired several shots, striking the subject, fatally wounding him," St. Louis County Police Department spokesman Brian Schellman said in a statement. The second man fled the scene.
"They won't tell me nothing. His girlfriend told me that the police was messing with him," the man's mother, Toni Martin, told a local broadcaster. "When he was trying to get up and run, they start shooting."
St. Louis County police recovered the deceased's man's handgun at the scene. The did not confirm his identity.
Mocking dead black teen at ex-cop's party
"Michael Brown learned a lesson about a messin' with a badass policeman," goes the song, captured on video and posted on entertainment news website TMZ. It continues: "Michael looked like some old Swiss cheese" ... his brain "splattered on the floor."
The video is likely to fuel public anger over police killings of black men. About 200 people marched in New York on Tuesday, defying Mayor Bill de Blasio's call for protests to be suspended after two police officers were killed in their patrol car on Saturday in an apparent revenge attack.
Commenting on the song, Chief Charlie Beck said on Twitter: "Like many of you, I find it offensive & absurd. It does not reflect the values of the #LAPD."
"I have directed our Professional Standards Bureau to look into this & determine if any active department employees were involved."
An LAPD spokesman declined further comment.
The song, which changed the lyrics to "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown", a 1973 hit by American folk rock singer Jim Croce, was performed at a party organized by a retired LAPD officer at an Elks Lodge in the Los Angeles suburb Glendale on Dec. 15, local media reported.
A trustee for the lodge, in a statement to LA Weekly, apologized for the song, which he called inappropriate and said does not reflect the group's values.
A lawyer for the singer, identified as Gary Fishell, a former private investigator, is quoted by TMZ as saying: "He's a goofball who writes funny songs," adding that he had now realized the song was "off color and in poor taste."