FERGUSON, MO (KTVI) -A community is shocked and angered after a Ferguson police officer shot and killed an 18-year old in the Canfield Green apartment complex Saturday afternoon. At the request of the Ferguson Police Department, the St. Louis County Crimes Against Persons Unit has taken over the investigation of the shooting. The Ferguson police chief personally called the St. Louis County chief to ask for help. The police officer involved in the shooting has been put on paid administrative leave.
The officer involved is a six year veteran of the Ferguson Police Department.
In a news conference Sunday morning, St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar provided more information on the investigation so far. He stated that around Noon, a Ferguson officer encountered two teenagers on the street. As he was exiting his police car, one of the two teens allegedly shoved the officer back into the cruiser and assaulted him. Chief Belmar says there was struggle over the officer’s weapon and at least one shot was fired inside the car, hitting no one. After the initial alleged assault, they exited the car. Belmar says the officer then fired at the teen or teens as they ran away. One teen was shot multiple times and died at the scene.
Witnesses to the shooting identified the victim as Michael Brown, 18. They say he was walking in the middle of a street with a friend, Dorin Johnson, when a Ferguson officer drove up and ordered them to the sidewalk. Johnson said they told him they were a minute away from their destination and then they would be out of the street. After a verbal confrontation, witness Piaget Crenshaw said the officer got out of his car and fired a shot. Both teens ran, she said, and another shot was fired. Johnson hid behind a car, but said his friend stopped after a second shot was fired at him. Crenshaw and Johnson say the teen held up his hands to show he did not have a weapon, however the officer fired at him two more times and he collapsed and died in the street.
St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar says that all findings of the investigation will be turned over the St. Louis County Prosecutor’s Office.
Protesters of the violence gathered outside the fire department where the news conference was held, eventually making their way inside the building. Chanting could be heard during the news conference.
Anger over police shooting of teen prompts protests