St. Louis police officer fatally shoots 23-year-old African-American man holding knife

The St. Louis Police Department said on Tuesday that an officer was forced to shoot a man who was holding a knife, CNN reported.

According to a spokesperson for the department, police were contacted after a 23-year-old African-American man stole a package of muffins and two energy drinks from a convenience store. The man was reportedly acting erratically, and pulled a knife out of his waistband when officers arrived.

The spokesperson said that the told the officers, "Shoot me now, kill me now."

When the suspect came within three to four feet of the officers, both officers fired their weapons, killing the man.

The police department also said that "several witnesses" confirmed the officers' version of events.

The spokesperson told reporters that some of the St. Louis officers were armed with Tasers, but that the officers' safety was the highest priority. He pointed out that the department was also concerned how people would react considering the recent protests over the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson.

Watch the video below from CNN.