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Authorities are identifying the man shot to death by two St. Louis police officers during Mardi Gras as 32 year old Otis Roberson.

Witnesses told police that Roberson had been brawling with another man and then pulled a gun, firing at least one shot into the air.

St. Louis Police Lt. Col. Lawrence O’Toole says two St. Louis police officers had been patroling nearby when they heard the shot. When arrived, the officers ordered Roberson to drop his gun, but instead he turned and pointed the weapon at police. O'Toole says both officers fired several shots, striking Roberson. The North County man later died at the hospital.

Mardi Gras Inc. spokesman Mack Bradley praised the officers for acting appropriately. Both officers had been working for Mardi Gras Inc. under a secondary employment agreement allowing police to work extra jobs during their off hours. Both are veterans with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, one with 22 years on duty and the other with 33 years on the force. Both have been placed on routine administrative leave.

This is the first fatal shooting in the Soulard festival's 34 year history.

St. Louis police reported that 80 people were arrested during the Mardi Gras celebrations in Soulard Saturday. Seventy-six of them were juveniles arrested for consumption of alcohol by a minor.
Published in Local News

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