Police: Man raised a gun at officer before fatal police shooting in Clayton

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CLAYTON, MO – Police have released new details into the fatal officer-involved shooting in Clayton over the holiday weekend. Investigators said Terry Tillman, 23, raised his gun at officers before he was shot three to five times in the front of his body.

The incident started around 3 p.m. on Saturday (Aug. 31) in the Galleria Mall where police said two officers saw Tillman carrying a firearm with an extended magazine sticking out from the waistband of his pants. St. Louis County Police Department spokesperson Sgt. Benjamin Granda said at least one mall patron also reported Tillman to the officers.

Through the investigation, Tillman’s magazine was found to have had at least 25 bullets. Guns are not allowed on the Galleria property, and, according to police, Tillman’s criminal history prohibited him from being in possession of a firearm.

One of the officers was on duty for Richmond Heights and in uniform. The other officer is employed by a different municipality and was working secondary as security at the mall. Police said the officers approached Tillman and he ran.

The officers alerted dispatch about the chase, and additional units from Richmond Heights and Clayton police departments arrived at the scene that had crossed Clayton Road to an adjacent parking garage next to the Simmons Bank.

Investigators said a different Richmond Heights police officer who responded to assist in the chase fired an estimated seven shots at Tillman, striking him three to five times in the front of his abdomen after Tillman raised his gun at officers. EMS crews were dispatched to the scene, but Tillman died at the scene.

Tillman did not fire any shots. His gun was recovered at the scene.

The officer who fired the shots is 50-years-old with 23 years of service with the department.

Granda said detectives are in the process of reviewing video footage from at least 158 cameras in the mall and others in the area around the Simmons Bank.

“It’s 2019. Any reasonable person that sees an extended magazine protruding from someone, especially in a law enforcement capacity, has an obligation to contact that individual and investigate. I’ll give you a couple days to turn on your evening news, look nationally, and see if we have any mass shootings. There is no way we cannot not address that person.”

St. Louis County prosecutor Wesley Bell was on the scene Saturday, and he issued a statement Tuesday (Sept. 3) saying in part:

“I am fully aware of how sensitive this issue is and I want to assure all residents a thorough and detailed investigation is being conducted. I ask for patience as this process unfolds and I will update the community as more information becomes available.”

Granda said the investigation could take months to complete. Investigators ask anyone with information to call the St. Louis County Police Department at 636-529-8210.

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