Washington — Police officers in Washington, D.C., fatally shot a young Black man Wednesday who the department said had “brandished a firearm,” prompting protests amid increased nationwide and local scrutiny over police tactics. The killing prompted a late-night face-off between police and dozens of protesters outside a city police station.

Police have identified the slain man as 18-year-old Deon Kay of southeast D.C.

A subsequent statement from the Metropolitan Police Department said Kay was one of two people who fled Wednesday afternoon when approached by uniformed officers who were investigating reports of a man with a gun in the area.

“During the foot pursuit, one of the suspects brandished a firearm. In response, an officer discharged their firearm one time, striking the suspect,” the MPD statement said.

Kay was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. The police statement included pictures of the handgun they said Kay had been carrying, as well as another gun that was carried by a third of his companions, who was arrested.

“Uniformed police officers had information that there were guys in the neighborhood with guns, specifically,” Newsham said in a press conference. “That’s what they were looking for and evidently that’s what they found.”

The officers involved were placed on administrative leave. 

The local Black Lives Matter affiliate called for immediate protests outside the MPD’s 7th District headquarters, stating in a tweet, “DC police murdered a Black man today.”

Later Wednesday night, videos posted on social media showed dozens of enraged protesters jostling with a line of police officers, who used bicycles to help form a barrier in front of the station. CBS News affiliate WUSA9 in Washington said the protests continued early Thursday morning, with a group marching to Mayor Mariel Bowser’s residence and calling on her to fire Police Chief Peter Newsham and “defund” the police.

Demonstrators are seen outside D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s house on September 2, 2020 after a police officer shot and killed an 18-year-old Black man. Protesters were demanding that Bowser fire Police Chief Newsham and defund the police.

WUSA-TV

At the scene, police said they retrieved two guns, and 19-year-old Marcyelle Smith and 18-year-old Deonte Brown were arrested and charged with carrying a pistol without a license and no permit, respectively. 

“Uniformed police officers had information that there were guys in the neighborhood with guns, specifically,” Newsham said in a press conference. “That’s what they were looking for and evidently that’s what they found.”

The officers involved have been placed on administrative leave. The shooting comes as police killings of Black people have sparked nationwide protests and calls for sweeping police reform, prompting local efforts by the D.C. Council to bring greater transparency to such incidents.

In June, following the killing of George Floyd by police officers in Minneapolis, the council passed emergency legislation requiring the MPD to release any body camera video from any fatal shootings or use-of-force incidents within five days. The department must also release the names of the officers involved.

In July, the city released body camera footage from three separate fatal incidents dating back to 2018.