A crowd of some 200-300 people gathered at a gas station shortly after the deadly officer-involved shooting of a man outside of a Berkeley, Missouri, gas station late Tuesday night.
The Berkeley Police Department handed the investigation over to St. Louis County Police, who released surveillance footage of the incident and told reporters Wednesday morning that the suspect pulled a gun on the officer.
The officer fired at least three shots after the suspect allegedly pointed the weapon at him. Police later found that the suspect’s gun had five rounds in the magazine, one in the chamber and had its serial number filed off.
Police Chief Jon Belmar wouldn’t release the name of the suspect, but said he had a criminal record, which included charges of assault and armed robbery.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that the suspect was 18-year-old Antonio Martin. The second person fled the scene and has been named a person of interest in the case.
Belmar said the officer was responding to a larceny call at the Mobil on the Run station on the 6800 block of North Hanley Road at about 11:15 p.m. When the officer pulled into the parking lot, one person approached the driver’s side of his vehicle and the suspect stood in front of the hood.
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 told reporters.
That’s when the officer backed away, lost his balance and fired his service revolver, Belmar said. As he fell, he also dropped his flashlight.
Emergency medical units confirmed that the suspect died on the scene and his body was concealed from the forming crowd until the partition removed at 1:40 a.m., Belmar said.
Some in the crowd turned violent at about 2 a.m., firing on police officers with fireworks or some other kind of small explosives, KSDK reported.
The incident happened close to neighboring Ferguson, where an officer shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown on Aug. 9, sparking a wave of protests, looting and aggressive police behavior in that community. Further protesting ensued when the officer involved in the shooting, Darren Wilson, was not indicted for the shooting.
Belmar told reporters that the incident in Berkeley should not be compared to Ferguson because the surveillance footage shows the suspect pointing a gun at the officer.