UPDATE: 8:15 AM EST:
The Berkeley officer who fatally shot a black teenager Tuesday night is a 35-year-old, six-year-veteran, Police Chief Jon Belmar said during a Wednesday morning press conference.
Belmar said the teenager, identified as Antonio Martin by family members, pulled a gun on the officer who in turn fired at least three shots, hitting Martin once. A video showing what led up to the shooting was released shortly before Belmar’s press conference.
Belmar said one of the people approached the driver’s side of the vehicle.
One of the individuals “produced a pistol with his arm straight out, pointing it straight at the officer kind of from across the hood,” Belmar said.
At that point, the chief said, the officer got his service revolver “and fired what we think is three shots.”
Belmar said one round struck the suspect, an 18-year-old black male, and one struck a tire of the police car. Police said they did not immediately know where the third round went.
From the videotape released by St. Louis County Police and Belmar’s description, the officer was near the front driver’s side of the vehicle and the suspect was on the other side, near the car’s headlights, when the shooting occurred.
As the officer points his gun, he is backing away and loses his balance, Belmar said. As he fell, he dropped his flashlight and fired off at least three shots.
The officer, who is white, was placed on investigative leave.
Belmar also said the unidentified officer was issued a body camera but was not wearing it at the time of the shooting.
CNN reports the officer who shot #AntonioMartin has a body cam assigned to him. But he was not wearing it at the time of the incident.
— Dometi Pongo (@Dometi_) December 24, 2014
Four people were arrested following the shooting for assaulting officers. At least 200 people gathered at the gas station, including legal observers, and stayed throughout the night. At least one officer was injured, Belmar says, and a firework device was set off in the parking lot.
— Jim Dalrymple II (@JimDalrympleII) December 24, 2014
Police reportedly used pepper spray to disperse crowds. A nearby QuikTrip convenience store was vandalized following the shooting.
— Anonymous (@occupythemob) December 24, 2014
When asked if the officer considered using a Taser, Belmar responded:
“Frankly that’s unreasonable.”
UPDATE: 7:46 AM EST:
St. Louis County Police have released a gas station surveillance video showing the moments before a police officer fatally wounded a Berkeley teenager.
Police have also released a statement regarding a police shooting that left an 18-year-old dead at the station just miles from Ferguson, saying the teenager pointed a gun at the officer.
The officer involved was conducting a “routine business check” when he approached two males outside of the gas station.
The officer saw two people outside the station, got out of his vehicle and approached them. One of the suspects pulled out a handgun.
“Fearing for his life, the Berkeley Officer fired several shots, striking the subject, fatally wounding him,” the release from the county police said. “The second subject fled the scene.”
Berkeley police requested that the county department’s Crimes Against Persons Unit handle the investigation of the shooting. Detectives “recovered the deceased subject’s handgun at the scene,” the release from county police said.
For at least two hours, the body remained on the parking lot just in front of the gas station as police investigated the shooting. Berkeley police cars were on either side. A Berkeley police car was later towed away.
Toni Martin, Martin’s mother, says her son was with his girlfriend at the time of the incident, not another male. The girlfriend, who remained on the scene last night, refused to talk to reporters.
St. Louis County Police Sgt. Brian Schellman says police will give a media briefing about the shooting in Berkeley at 7 a.m. CT. We’ll keep you updated with the latest.
SOURCE: St. Louis Dispatch
Police in Berkeley, Mo. were reportedly involved in the fatal shooting of a black male at a gas station just miles from the city where an unarmed Michael Brown Jr. was killed by an officer in August.
The incident, which occurred just a day before Christmas, is being investigated. The male, described as an 18-year-old high school senior, has been identified by family as Antonio Martin.
Police have not released any details about the shooting, but those on the scene are reporting that the teenager’s body has been laying on the ground for nearly two hours.
— Search4Swag (@search4swag) December 24, 2014
— ShordeeDooWhop (@Nettaaaaaaaa) December 24, 2014
A crowd of about 100 people, including protestors who have been vocal about Brown’s killing, ministers and legal advisory, gathered at the gas station following the shooting.
Crowd getting rowdy https://t.co/lEkQunOv3u
— Search4Swag (@search4swag) December 24, 2014
SOURCE: Twitter, St. Louis Dispatch | PHOTO CREDIT: Twitter/Nettaaaaaaaa