A police officer shot and killed a black teenager outside a gas station in Berkeley, Missouri, just miles from Ferguson, on Tuesday night. The 34-year-old white police officer was doing a routine check at a local gas station when he confronted two men in the parking lot around 11.15 p.m., according to St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar.
Here’s how the police chief says the scene played out via the St. Louis Post Dispatch:
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.” He also said the 9 mm gun found on the suspect had five rounds in the chamber and one round in the magazine. He also said the gun was “defaced.” The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene. Belmar declined to release his name at the news conference but said he was known to police for various charges including weapons and stealing.
The shooting victim was identified as 18-year-old Antonio Martin, by his mother, Toni Martin. “Toni Martin told reporters at the scene that her son was with his girlfriend at the time of the shooting and refuted police claims that her son was carrying a gun,” according to ABC News.
Local police say several hundred protesters gathered at the scene of the shooting. Protesters clashed with police, throwing bricks, while police used pepper spray on the crowd, according to police. “Berkeley, a mostly black suburb with about 9,000 residents, is among the dozens of small, working-class municipalities that surround St. Louis,” according to the New York Times. The town borders Ferguson.