LISTEN: St. Louis Police officer encounters 14-year old boy with gun

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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - A police officer finds himself in a stare down on the sidewalk with a 14-year-old boy who had a gun in his hand, a standoff that ended peacefully without either firing a shot.  

It happened around 3 p.m. Monday at Athlone and Carter Avenues in north St. Louis. 

Alderman John Collins-Muhammad witnessed the incident, after walking out of a corner store and was afraid he was about to see another police shooting that would roil the region.

Im a tough critic on police. When I see them doing wrong; I’m calling them out. When I see them doing right; I’m acknowledging it! We have good officers and we have bad officers. But to the officers to the walking the beat & serving our communities; “I salute you”. @SLMPD

— John C. Muhammad, Jr ™️ (@JohnMuhammadJr) March 25, 2019

The officer was white and the boy was black.

"They were probably within five steps of each other," Muhammad said. "The kid is flourishing a gun, not a little pistol; this was a massive firearm – maybe a .22 with an extended clip."

Muhammad watched as the officer raised his hands in the air and walked toward the boy.

"He starts taking a step torward the kid. The kid didn't move. And he just grabbed him. He secured the gun, put the kid in handcuffs, and just set him down on the sidewalk."

Standing within earshot, Muhammad says he listened as the officer, who was visibly nervous and perspiring, sat down and talked with the boy.

"He just started talking to him, saying 'What are you doing? How old are you?' The kid said he's 14.' The officer told him, 'You're my son's age.'"

Muhammad said he was so impressed with the officer's restraint and humanity he called it "a vision of excellence."

Im a tough critic on police. When I see them doing wrong; I’m calling them out. When I see them doing right; I’m acknowledging it! We have good officers and we have bad officers. But to the officers to the walking the beat & serving our communities; “I salute you”. @SLMPD

— John C. Muhammad, Jr ™️ (@JohnMuhammadJr) March 25, 2019

KMOX contacted the St. Louis Police media office seeking more information on the showdown. 

No one called back, but a brief statement sent by email indicates the boy was one of four occupants of a stolen car that police chased into an alley, where the four got out and ran off.

We have some great officers in the #21stWard. I just witnessed a @SLMPD officer disarm a 14 yr old kid who had a gun w/ an extended clip without drawing for his weapon. He didn’t want to be a white officer to shoot a black teenaged kid. The cop said he & his son are the same age.

— John C. Muhammad, Jr ™️ (@JohnMuhammadJr) March 25, 2019

Three were arrested, including the 14-year old.  A fourth suspect got away.

Police released no information on the standoff, who the officer was, or how he decided to defuse the situation peacefully.

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