St Louis police have shot another young black man amid protest that raged in streets over the fatal police shooting of unarmed black teenager Micheal Bown in nearby Ferguson in Missouri, USA.
The 23-year-old man was shot after he acted 'erratically' and approached officers with a knife drawn, ABC news reports.
Police said officers were alerted after they received a call for a disturbance in the areas of River view Boulevard and McLaran Avenue. The suspect entered a nearby convenience store and walked out carrying two energy drinks and gave no heed to the store owner who asked him to stop.
After police' arrival, he told officers that he was armed with a knife, pacing up and down the street, talking to himself. Witnesses said he approached police clutching his waistband and pulling out a knife, 9news reported citing St Louis' police Chief Sam Dotson.
"He began telling the officers, 'Shoot me now. Kill me now,'" St Louis Public Radio reporter Stephanie Lecci told NPR.
"And the officers began giving him verbal warnings," he said adding that when the police saw the knife, they began telling the man to get back and drop the weapon. When the man did not comply, and came within three to four feet of one of the officers, the police fired, killing the suspect on the spot.
The incident comes as the shooting of another unarmed teenager, earlier this month, has sparked week-long protests in the area. Local media have noted that this incident could further intensify violence in Ferguson.
Police have been criticised for using lethal force instead of using non-leathal means such as a teaser to subdue the approaching assailant.
Chief Dotson has, however, defended the actions saying that if a person charges police with a knife, and they're within three to four feet, it comes within lethal range. He also cited a witness to describing the event as 'suicide-by-cop' situation, reports have suggested.
Asked if he believes the shooting was justified, Dotson said his officers "have the right to go home at night" and that every officer has the right to defend themselves and the community they serve.
This comes after Monday saw the latest in an unbroken string of violent nights in the area with people protesting over the shooting of Micheal Brown, an unarmed teenager, by a white police officer on 9 August.