A police officer in Berkeley, Mo. shot and killed 18-year-old Black teen Antonio Martin Tuesday (Dec. 23) night outside of a gas station. The shooting took place just two miles from the town of Ferguson, adding to the high tensions in the state regarding the shooting death of Michael “Mike” Brown.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch broke news of the shooting and confirmed the news by speaking with the victim’s mother, Toni Martin. Throughout the night, details of the incident began to emerge rapidly while protesters and supporters took to the street to demand answers. St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar addressed the matter in a news conference.
From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Police Chief Jon Belmar said the officer was doing a business check at a Mobil on the run station about 11:15 p.m. Tuesday when the shooting happened.
The officer saw two people on the parking lot in the 6800 block of North Hanley Road and began talking with them.
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.”
The officer, who is 34 and white, is a 6-year veteran of the department, Belmar said. He was placed on investigative leave, which is standard.
There was a videotape released publicly by the St. Louis County Police to go along with Chief Belmar’s description of the shooting event. Reportedly, Martin pointed a firearm at the officer thus prompting the events that took place but the camera is too far away to make a solid observation.
Protest organizers converged on the scene of the shooting shortly after it was announced, and angered citizens clashed with police at the gas station in the early hours of the morning. A reported 300 protesters gathered at the scene with more pouring in throughout Wednesday morning.
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Photo: St. Louis County Police