BERKELEY, MO (KPLR) - A violent night erupted in St. Louis County after a Berkeley police officer shot and killed an armed teenager who reportedly pointed a gun at him. The shooting occurred Tuesday night at the Mobil gas station in the 6800 block of North Hanley Road. The Berkeley Police Department released surveillance video early Wednesday morning of the incident.
A press conference was held by the St. Louis County Police Department shortly after its release.
“We do what we do. We investigate the facts and the circumstances," said Chief Jon Belmar as he addressed a crowd at the conference that lasted nearly 40 minutes.
County police say one shot struck the suspect and one shot struck the tire of the police car. Authorities cannot account for the third round at this time. Police do not believe any shots were fired from the suspect. A 9-millimeter handgun was recovered at the scene. The weapon had a defaced serial number, and five rounds in the magazine and the chamber.
The chief offered his condolences to the victim's family calling this a tragedy. "There is no reason for the family of this young man to see the rest of this video," said Belmar. He also said the officer possessed a body camera that he received following roll-call but the device was inoperable at the time. He also noted that the officer's dash cam was not activated.
The officer will be placed on administrative leave from the City of Berkeley.
Around 11p.m. a police officer with the City of Berkeley was conducting a routine business check when he observed two male subjects on the side of the building. Police say the officer exited his vehicle and approached the subjects when one of the men pulled a handgun and pointed it at the officer. In fear for his life, the officer fired several shots, striking the subject and fatally wounding him.
The second person fled the scene.
The man killed was 18-year-old Antonio Martin from the 6100 block of Sherry. Martin’s body was removed from the scene about an hour and a half following the shooting.
Nearly 50 officers arrived on the scene as a large crowd of nearly 300 people gathered after the shooting. Although explosive devices were used on the parking lot, the Tactical Operations Unit never went to the scene. The chief also noted that tear gas was not deployed.
Four people were taken into custody by the Berkeley Police Department for assaulting officers. One officer was injured. Several police units were damaged and Belmar said people also brought bags of rocks to the scene.
Police have confirmed that Martin was known to law enforcement.
“This is a tragedy for everybody and my heart goes out to the family. Bad choices were made.”
The Berkeley Police Department requested the St. Louis County Police Department's Crimes Against Persons Unit to handle the investigation.
Surveillance video of the shooting
St. Louis County Police Detectives recovered Martin's weapon at the scene.
Full press conference video: