Updated Wednesday, Dec. 24, 11:10 a.m. EST: The officer who shot and killed 18-year-old Antonio Martin had a body camera issued to him at the start of his shift but was not wearing it at the time of the shooting, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
The Berkeley, Mo., officer, so far only identified as a 34-year-old white man and a six-year veteran of the force, has since been placed on standard administrative leave in the aftermath of the shooting.
According to St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar at a Wednesday morning news conference, the office was responding to a larceny call at a gas station at around 11:15 p.m. Tuesday at the time of the shooting. However, Belmar did not say whether the call involved the slain teen.
The Post-Dispatch reports that Belmar called suggestions that the officer could have used a Taser instead “unreasonable.” He added that the young man could have complied with orders but made “bad choices.”
Martin’s mother, however, disagreed. “This doesn’t make any sense for them to kill my son like this,” Toni Martin told the news site. “I am trying to be calm.”
Antonio Martin was the eldest of her four children with Jerome Green.
“He’s like any other kid who had dreams or hopes,” the grieving father said, and explained that his son took medication for hyperactivity because he found it hard to focus. “We loved being around him. He’d push a smile out of you.
“He was not a violent person, to our knowledge,” the father added. “Around us, there weren’t any pistols. It’s hard to believe that.”
Yet another teenager has lost his life to a Missouri cop, sparking angry protests and clashes between protesters and officers, NBC News reports.
According to the report, 18-year-old Antonio Martin was gunned down at a gas station late Tuesday in Berkeley, Mo., about 2 miles away from Ferguson, where Michael Brown was slain by then-Police Officer Darren Wilson.
The St. Louis County police confirmed that an officer fired “several shots … fearing for his life,” adding that Martin allegedly pulled a gun on him. Officials said that a firearm was recovered from the scene and law enforcement had begun to investigate the incident.
NBC News notes that the police did not confirm Martin’s identity, but Toni Martin, who was at the scene, said it was her son, who had merely been on his way to meet his girlfriend.
“He only just left the house to go see her,” she said, according to NBC, insisting that her son did not have a gun. “They was walking somewhere … maybe he started to run and they start shooting.
“They got my baby laying out there, he’s been out there for about two hours,” the grieving mother added, while her son’s body still lay covered on the ground.
According to the news site, the shooting prompted protests, leading to clashes with law enforcement, before demonstrations died down around sunrise.
“I can see about 50 cop cars, they’re fighting and scuffling, the highway is blocked with cars, people are being arrested,” photographer Bradley Rayford told the news station. “Trash cans are on fire.”
Jon Belmar, the St. Louis County police chief, later said in a news conference that bricks and possibly fireworks were thrown at officers. He added that officers did not use flash bangs and tear gas, which were notorious in Ferguson. Four individuals were arrested. Some language in the video is NSFW.
Surveillance video at the scene has since been released by St. Louis County police.
Read more at NBC News.