ST. LOUIS – Marchers protesting the fatal police shooting of a transgender woman were injured by a car as they blocked an intersection Wednesday night – and there were differing accounts of how it happened. Police said the driver is under arrest.
The march followed a vigil attended by more than 100 people honoring the woman, 30-year-old Kenneth "Kiwi" Herring.
According to St. Louis city police, some vigil attendees marched from the Transgender Memorial to an intersection and blocked traffic in all directions.
"A vehicle approached, stopped, honked its horn and attempted to drive around the protesters," the police statement says. "The protesters surrounded the vehicle and began striking it with their hands and a flag pole. Several protesters also kicked and jumped on top of the vehicle. The driver of the vehicle … proceeded to drive away when three protesters … fell from the vehicle."
The three protesters reported minor injuries but refused medical attention, the statement continued.
"Police attempted to stop driver of vehicle who initially refused to stop. He stopped about a block away from the incident and was taken into custody for felony fleeing," the statement adds.
But the St. Louis Post-Dispatch quotes a witness identified as Keith Rose as saying the driver had his middle fingers raised before accelerating through the group.
The newspaper says Rose, who was in the group of protesters, said the driver stopped for a few seconds "before accelerating gradually and driving into the group. Rose said that a protester was thrown over the hood of the car by the impact and others were hit by the car."
CBS St. Louis affiliate KMOV-TV reports anger and emotion were already growing over Herring's death before the incident in the intersection.
Officers say Herring cut an officer with a knife, but some in the community believe police acted too soon when they shot Herring.
Loved ones say Herring was a mother of three little boys.
"Her pain, her struggle, her legacy will not be forgotten by anyone here," said Morgan Hunlen. "She was a resilient character that may have reached an unfortunate and tragic end, but lived a life that should be celebrated."
Police say they were responding to a domestic disturbance when they found Herring cut badly across the face, arms and chest.
Officers told KMOV Herring was armed with a large kitchen knife, slashing at police, even cutting one on the arm when two officers fired, killing Herring.
"We have to remember Kiwi for who she was and not what happened," said Hunlen. "She took care of her kids, she loved her wife. She lived the best life that she could."
Herring's spouse, 28-year-old Kristopher "Kristy" Thompson, who also identifies as a woman, was arrested and charged with first-degree assault.
Thompson was being held on $80,000 bond.
The wounded officer was treated for a cut arm and released from the hospital shortly after.
Both officers involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.