The parents of Antonio Martin, Toni Martin-Green and Jerome Green, have said their son’s death “doesn’t make sense.”
“This doesn’t make any sense for them to kill my son like this,” Toni Martin-Green told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “I am trying to be calm.”
St. Louis County police said the officer shot Martin, 18, on Tuesday night at a Mobil gas station near Berkeley, Missouri.
Martin was the oldest of four children. “He’s like any other kid who had dreams or hopes,” said Green. “We loved being around him. He’d push a smile out of you.”
He described him as a “follower” who took medication for being hyperactive. “It was hard for him to focus,” Green added.
Police Chief Jon Belmar said Martin had a criminal record, including charges for armed robbery, three assaults, and weapons charges since he was 17.
“In the last year, he was really trying to find who he was. He was ready to take the world on,” Green told the paper. “He was not a violent person, to our knowledge,” he added. “Around us there weren’t any pistols. It’s hard to believe that.”
According to St. Louis police:
The St. Louis County Police Department is conducting an investigation into a shooting death involving a Berkeley, Missouri police officer.
At approximately 11:15 PM on December 23, 2014, a police officer with the City of Berkeley was conducting a routine business check at the Mobile Gas Station located at 6800 N. Hanley when he observed two male subjects on the side of the building.
The Berkeley Police Officer exited his vehicle and approached the subjects when one of the men pulled a handgun and pointed it at the officer. Fearing for his life, the Berkeley Officer fired several shots, striking the subject, fatally wounding him. The second subject fled the scene.
The Berkeley Police Department requested the St. Louis County Police Department’s Crimes Against Persons Unit to handle the investigation. St. Louis County Police Detectives have recovered the deceased subject’s handgun at the scene.
At this time, we cannot confirm the identity of the deceased subject. The investigation is on-going and further details will be provided as the investigation proceeds.
A later update states:
Surveillance video shows a suspect pointing a gun at a police officer.
The incident was caught by surveillance cameras. The gun was recovered at the scene.
Two officers were injured after a large crowd gathered and some people in the crowd became violent.
Some people threw rocks and bricks at officers. Four people were arrested and face assualt charges.
There were also several attempts to start fires at the gas station where the shooting occured, but the fires were put out quickly.
Chief Jon Belmar called it a sad day for everyone involved.