St. Louis, MO (KSDK) - It seems to be an alarming new trend in the area as police say they're being forced to fire their weapons more often. The latest officer-involved shooting makes for 14 total this year in St. Louis. Last year, there were 15 total. Police say the average is 15.
Police participate in "simunition" scenarios based training to make sure they are prepared. It's a role playing exercise to train police to use deadly force.
"We simulate unpredictable behaviors, so the first time we react to something like that, it's not the first time," said Sgt. Paul Bastean, the owner of Ultimate Defense Firing Range and Training Center in St. Peters.
It is critical training, especially for St. Louis police.
"It's disturbing as a police officer, knowing we have officers out there having to deal with this every day," said Captain Michael Sack, St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department. "It's a very dangerous situation, but fortunately they are well trained and willing to go out there and do their job every day."
Captain Sack says suspects seem to be more brazen these days.
On Wednesday, officers were chasing three people on South Compton when one of them tried to allegedly grab the officer's gun; the officer shot him.
"Officers are allowed to use deadly force anytime they feel the need to protect themselves or others for immediate threat of death or serious immediate harm," said Sgt. Christopher Tucker, St. Louis City Police Academy.
He says officers train with guns twice a year at the academy and take a written exam on the use of deadly force monthly.
When St. Louis City police officers use deadly force, police say their goal is not to kill but to incapacitate the suspect to immediately stop the threat. They are trained to target the tactical unit mass which encompasses the vital organs.
The St. Charles County Sheriff's Department reports one officer involved shooting so far this year. St. Louis County police report three.