Teen charged in St. Louis officer's death
Sunday, August 19, 2007
ST. LOUIS -- A 15-year-old boy was charged Saturday with killing a first-year St. Louis police officer in what authorities said was a "spur of the moment decision."
The name of the suspect was not released. He was charged in Family Court and is being held by juvenile authorities in the shooting death Wednesday of officer Norvelle Brown, 22, who was in his first year on the job.
Police chief Joe Mokwa said in a news conference that the boy decided on Wednesday to kill a police officer and Brown was not a specific target.
"All I can tell you about the details of that evening is the fact that this was a very conscious and deliberate act to kill a police officer," Mokwa said. "This young 15-year-old man made this decision."
Xavier McCully, 18, was charged with unlawful transfer of a weapon to a minor, a misdemeanor, police said.
McCully was there when Brown was shot and supplied the gun, but did not know that the 15-year-old planned to shoot an officer, Mokwa said. That was why McCully was not charged with a felony by the St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce, he said.
A third person who was with the two when Brown was shot was not involved in the alleged plot, Mokwa said.
The chief declined to say what led police to the two teens, but said tips from the neighborhood were vital.
Brown was killed Wednesday night while patrolling alone on the city's north side. A bullet entered the back of his left shoulder, pierced both lungs, and exited through his right armpit. Two other officers who rushed to the scene administered CPR before driving him to a hospital, where he died about an hour after the shooting.
He was the third St. Louis police officer shot to death in the line of duty since 2000.
Brown graduated from Vashon High School in 2003 and became a police recruit in 2006. He graduated from the Police Academy in November and asked to be assigned to the neighborhood where he grew up despite its reputation as a high-crime area.
Mokwa said Brown was a youth sports coach and a mentor to teens in the troubled neighborhood. He earned a letter of commendation from the chief in June for halting a robbery in progress at a barber shop.