ST. LOUIS - St. Louis community leaders are accusing Richmond Heights police of planting a gun after fatally shooting 23-year-old Terry Tillman. Tillman was shot and killed by police on August 31 near the Galleria Mall. Community Leaders and family members of Terry Tillman gathered Monday afternoon at St. Paul AME Church in St. Louis to release video for the first time.
The video was captured by two women who were inside a beauty shop near the crime scene. They watched as officers worked the crime scene outside. Community leaders claim the video shows a Richmond heights police officer walk to a police car after the shooting. He is wearing a blue rubber glove on his hand.
The activists claim the officer grabbed a weapon and walked towards the scene where Tillman was shot and killed. Community leaders say the scene was already secured and allege if Terry Tillman had a weapon it would be next to his body.
St. Louis County Police who are handling the investigation had not seen the video until Monday.
But two officers who saw Tillman inside the Galleria say he had an extended magazine on his guns. They approached Tillman because guns aren`t allowed on Galleria property. Investigators say Tillman ran, and the officers chased him and alerted dispatch about the chase. Other officers arrived on the scene and county police say a Richmond Heights officer shot and killed Tillman in a parking garage near the Galleria after Tillman raised his gun at officers.
Police viewed the video for the first time today and released the following statement: The actions taken by law enforcement on scene, including the securing Mr. Tillman`s weapon after the shooting, were known and have been documented in the investigation. We have and will continue to contact any persons that may have information pertaining to this incident. In some cases, we have been met with resistance and refusal.”
In other words, police say the video shows officers securing the gun after officers recovered the gun from the shooting scene.
Police say they have known about the video since asking for the public’s help in August. However, they say both women involved in shooting the video have refused to talk with police, provide their names, or share the video with investigators.
Late Monday night the Richmond Heights Police Department released the following statement:
RICHMOND HEIGHTS, MO (November 2019) – The City of Richmond Heights had been aware of this bystander’s video from the crime scene after Mr. Terry Tillman’s death and the new claim of corruption of the scene.
This footage is being used purely for conspiracy claims, to confuse, and to fuel distrust and anger in the St. Louis community. The integrity of the crime scene is not in question. Mr. Tillman was alive after the shooting and officers quickly performed CPR trying to save him. It is well documented that his gun was secured during this time.
The police-involved shooting of Mr. Tillman was a sad and tragic event. Our thoughts and condolences continue to go out to Mr. Tillman’s family. All involved are trying to emotionally heal.
The City of Richmond Heights employs a highly-skilled, ethical police department - it is our responsibility to provide our community and all visitors of our community a safe residential and business environment at all times.