By Alastair Jamieson
A cop fatally shot a teenager at a gas station late Tuesday just miles from Ferguson, Missouri, police said, setting off angry clashes between demonstrators and officers.
St. Louis County Police confirmed in a statement that an officer from the city of Berkeley had “fired several shots,” saying the cop was “fearing for his life” after a male allegedly pulled out a handgun and pointed it at him. A handgun was recovered at the scene, police added.
Police did not confirm the victim’s identity, but a distraught woman at the scene identified herself to reporters as Toni Martin and said that her 18-year-old son, Antonio Martin, was the victim.
“He only just left the house to go see his girlfriend. Maybe he started to run and they got shooting,” she said, adding that she did not think her son was carrying a gun. Toni Martin — who said her son’s girlfriend had told her about the shooting and brought her to the scene — told reporters Antonio had turned 18 in September and used to attend nearby Jennings High School.
Berkeley is just two miles from Ferguson, Missouri, where the fatal police shooting of unarmed black teen Michael Brown set off violent protests that spread nationwide. Early Wednesday, an angry crowd of about 200 gathered in Berkeley near the gas station and clashed with police as a body lay covered on the ground.
“I can see about 50 cop cars, they’re fighting and scuffling, the highway is blocked with cars, people are being arrested,” said photographer Bradley Rayford. “Trash cans are on fire.” A small fire began at a QuikTrip across the street from the Mobil but quickly went out, said John Henry, reporter with NBC affiliate KDSK. Fireworks were set off near patrol cars and in the Mobil parking lot. St Louis police said an investigation had begun into the shooting.
First published December 24 2014, 12:48 AM
Alastair Jamieson is a London-based reporter, editor and homepage producer for NBC News. He joined NBCNews.com in 2011 after more than a decade working as a reporter and news editor for British newspapers including The Sunday Telegraph and Daily Telegraph in London and The Scotsman in Edinburgh.
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