WASHINGTON, Dec 24- Police said Wednesday they shot dead an African American teenager after he allegedly pointed a handgun at an officer in a town near Ferguson, Missouri, scene of a prior police shooting that sparked nationwide protests.
St. Louis County police said in a statement that an officer from the city of Berkeley “fired several shots” after the man “pulled a handgun and pointed it at the officer”.
The shooting took place late Tuesday at a gas station, while the officer was conducting a routine patrol.
Police spokesman Brian Schellman said the officer had exited his vehicle and approached two males at the gas station when one of them pulled a weapon.
“Fearing for his life, the Berkeley officer fired several shots, striking the subject, fatally wounding him.”
Police said early Wednesday that they were unable to identify the deceased man and that the second suspect fled and had not been apprehended.
Authorities said they recovered a handgun at the scene and an investigation into the shooting was underway.
A local television station, KMOV, reported that dozens of angry residents confronted about a dozen police at the scene, shouting and waving their hands.
The shooting is the latest in several such incidents that led to nationwide protests into how police in the United States interact with the country’s black community.
It follows the racially charged fatal shooting in August of black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson.