Updated Sunday, Aug. 10, 12:45 p.m. EDT: The unarmed teen killed Saturday by a police officer in suburban St. Louis, Mo., allegedly engaged in an initial struggle for an officer’s gun inside a patrol car, officials said Sunday, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
The shooting of Michael Brown, who was set to start college Monday, sparked a night of unrest in Ferguson, a suburb just outside of St. Louis, the report says.
St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said during a Sunday morning news conference, “One shot was fired by the officer's gun inside the car during the struggle, and that the officer fired multiple times at Michael Brown as he ran away,” the report says.
He noted that an autopsy was pending and that a toxicology test would take as long as six weeks to determine whether Brown had alcohol or drugs in his system.
Belmar said a full investigation by his department is under way and could also involve the FBI, the report says. And according to the Post-Dispatch, he said, “the results would be forwarded to St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert P. McCulloch, whose office would decide whether criminal charges were justified.”
Belmar said that Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson, who arrived at the scene Saturday, called him personally to ask for a county investigation.
The officer, a six-year veteran whose name has not been disclosed, has been placed on administrative leave. The chief said that the officer “appears to have ‘no other issues’ in his past,” the report says.
Residents of a suburb in St. Louis, Mo., took to the streets in protest Saturday after an officer killed an unarmed black teen, who was slated to begin college Monday, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
Details were sketchy about what exactly happened, but the St. Louis County Police Department is scheduled to hold a news conference early Sunday to discuss the incident that began about noon Saturday at the Canfield Green Apartment complex in Ferguson, a St. Louis suburb, reports USA Today.
The victim, Michael Brown, apparently was on his way to visit his grandmother when he was allegedly shot by the officer, according to his mother, Lesley McSpadden, Post-Dispatch reports. The officer's name has not yet been released.
Piaget Crenshaw, 19, told the Post-Dispatch that she was waiting for a ride to work when she saw a police officer attempting to place Brown in the rear seat of a squad car.
“She then said she saw the teen, hands in the air, attempt to flee,” the Post-Dispatch writes. “Several shots hit Brown as he ran, Crenshaw said. She complied with a request that she give photos of the scene to authorities.”
Brown, who graduated this year from Normandy High School, was scheduled to begin classes at Vatterott College on Monday, the Post-Dispatch says.
The shooting touched off a vociferous protest in the community.
Hundreds of residents took to the streets in the St. Louis suburb, some shouting “Kill the police” during a protest that lasted several hours, the Associated Press reports.
“Louis Head, Brown’s stepfather, held a sign that said: ‘Ferguson police just executed my unarmed son!!!’,” writes the Post-Dispatch.
A St. Louis County chapter of the NAACP, according to AP, called on the FBI to look into the shooting that took place in Ferguson, a predominantly black suburb a few miles north of downtown St. Louis.
Other residents took to Twitter to express outrage.
Also on The Root: “Black and Unarmed: Men Without Weapons Killed by Law Enforcement”