In the suburb neighboring Ferguson in St. Louis, Missouri, a St. Louis cop shot and killed black teenager Antonio Martin at a Berkeley gas station late Tuesday evening. 18-year-old Martin was carrying a 9mm firearm, which police said was recovered after his death. According to St. Louis police, the officer shot in self-defense — he'd approached two men, the police department said in a statement, one of which had pointed a gun at him. The officer shot that man multiple times; meanwhile, the second fled. Early Wednesday morning, the department released footage of part of the incident.
Later on Tuesday evening, demonstrators arrived at the scene and a scuffle broke out, according to CNN. Two explosives were thrown at police, a police car was damaged, and some protesters were led away in handcuffs. Antonio Martin's mother, Toni Martin, was one of the first to arrive at the scene. She told reporters that her son had left her home to see his girlfriend, not to meet anybody else. "They won't tell me nothing," she told a local news station of the police, Yahoo News reported.
Though the officer was given a body cam, St. Louis police said at the press conference, the body cam was not on at the time.
St. Louis police insisted that the tape clears them of any wrongdoing, but the city remains on edge just one month after Darren Wilson was cleared of all charges relating to the shooting of unarmed teen Michael Brown.
#AntonioMartin and #RIPAntonioMartin quickly began trending on Twitter, with many expressing outrage and sadness.
The footage of the incident release by police cuts off just after Antonio Martin raises a gun at police. You can watch it here.
In a statement, St. Louis County Police said:
The St. Louis County Police Department is conducting an investigation into a shooting death involving a Berkeley, Missouri police officer.
At approximately 11:15 PM on December 23, 2014, a police officer with the City of Berkeley was conducting a routine business check at the Mobile Gas Station located at 6800 N. Hanley when he observed two male subjects on the side of the building.
The Berkeley Police Officer exited his vehicle and approached the subjects when one of the men pulled a handgun and pointed it at the officer. Fearing for his life, the Berkeley Officer fired several shots, striking the subject, fatally wounding him. The second subject fled the scene.
The Berkeley Police Department requested the St. Louis County Police Department's Crimes Against Persons Unit to handle the investigation. St. Louis County Police Detectives have recovered the deceased subject's handgun at the scene.
At this time, we cannot confirm the identity of the deceased subject. The investigation is on-going and further details will be provided as the investigation proceeds.