ST. LOUIS – During a news briefing by the St. Louis Department of Public Safety on Friday afternoon, St. Louis reporters were given the opportunity to view surveillance video of an officer involved shooting that resulted in the death of 16-year-old Darryl Ross on September 11. His family believes the shooting was not justified.
St. Louis police have shared an image of the firearm they said the teen was carrying the night of the shooting. Undercover officers wear conducting surveillance around a Shell gas station located on the 2800 block of North Florissant Avenue.
The reporters were not allowed to record the video, and it was not shared publicly. The administration of Mayor Tishaura Jones cited transparency as a reason for sharing the video, and cited maintaining the integrity of the investigation as a reason for not sharing it publicly.
The surveillance video showed images of what appears to be several armed individuals on the gas station parking lot. Police described the interactions and exchanges between those individuals, captured on surveillance video, as being related to drugs.
At one point, Ross appears to be isolated near an alley. The surveillance video showed an officer in plain clothes with the word police on the front and back of his police vest. There is no audio, but the video showed the officer pointing a gun at Ross. Ross runs, trips, and falls.
The teen drops an object police said was a gun. The surveillance video showed Ross’s hand reaching for that object. The two officers shoot Ross. The officers then rendering first aid in an attempt to save the teen’s life, which was shown in the video.
Ross’s family has told FOX 2 they do not believe the shooting was justified and that the teen was running out of fear.
Rev. Darryl Gray said he is disturbed by the video. He was one of the community members allowed to view the images. Gray said he would withhold comment whether the shooting was justified because the investigation is not over.
“We appreciate the transparency,” Gray said. “There are still question and concerns yet to be responded to, and unfortunately, too often it takes the death of someone to force us to have those conversations.”
Gray said one of those questions included why Ross was singled out. He also points out there were no body cameras because police were undercover.