NORTH ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MO (KTVI) – The mother of a teenager who police say committed suicide in a Normandy neighborhood last month is convinced her son was killed by a police officer.
Lakea Green and her husband Anthony Cosentino are raising questions about the investigation into the shooting death of her son Amonderez Green.
The initial report from the St. Louis County Medical Examiner and St. Louis County Police indicated the 18-year-old died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Wednesday County police said they stand by that report, but the investigation is still underway.
The family said it arranged for a second, independent autopsy and is now waiting for the results. Green’s immediate family believes police shot him and it was not a suicide.
The St. Louis County Police said the bullet recovered during the autopsy was fired from a .38 caliber revolver. Police recovered a .38 caliber revolver at the scene near the suspect. The gun belonged to Green’s step father, Anthony Cosentino.
Cosentino said he believed his weapon would have done a lot more damage if it had been fired at close range. “That’s why I feel it wasn’t a suicide,” he said. He also questioned the lack of gun residue on the young man’s shirt.
Lakea Green wants to know why police body camera video from Ferguson officers has not been made public. She also questioned why witness statements have not been released. She described her son as a hard worker who worked both at a McDonald’s and a Cheese Cake Factory restaurant.
Several witnesses from the 7700 block of Paddington in Normandy share the Green family’s suspicions. One young man who did not want to give his name said he had seen the incident from across the street. “He certainly didn’t shoot himself,” he said adding, “I didn’t see him waving the gun in the air near his head or anything.” But he did see police pick up a revolver that was on the ground next to the teen and move it away from him.
A second witness, who did not want to be named, said he watched the teen jump two backyard fences using both hands, “He was not holding a gun and it did not look as if he had a gun in his pocket,” the man said.
Cosentino said he had been following Amonderez that afternoon after he had appeared upset and refused to talk to him. A Ferguson police officer stopped Cosentino as he drove slowly with his flashers on as the teen walked on Bermuda.
“The officer asked what he could do. I was on the phone with his mother and she asked if they could detain him until she got there. They were unable to do that at the time.”
At one point police said Green fired shots at the officers in the 7700 block of Ellington. A Normandy officer deployed his taser, but it had no effect. The same officer then fired three shots from his revolver but missed the teenager. The police report from St. Louis County indicated those were the only shots fired by police.