Video: Officer defends himself, shoots teen near Ferguson, Mo.

Overnight, a police officer shot and killed a teenager outside a gas station in Berkeley, Mo. just west of Ferguson. I almost never write about breaking news anymore. Usually when some sort of tragic event happens, the information in the first hours or days turns out to be totally wrong. But today, I’ll make an exception to reference how the story is being told at the outset.

Video added below. Updates added below.

The first report I saw appeared at the Daily Mail website so I’ll reference story. If I have time, I’ll look at the Yahoo link Drudge Report and the St. Louis Dispatch stories that are also available. From the Daily Mail.

A black teenager has been shot dead by a police officer at a gas station only a few miles from where Michael Brown was killed in Ferguson, Missouri.

The victim, who has been named by his mother as Antonio Martin, 18, was killed at a Mobil gas station on North Hanley Road at about 1am.

Yes, they refer to the teens race and they of course reference the justified shooting of Brown by Darren Wilson in the first sentence of the story.

Police claimed that an officer approached the gas station during a ‘routine business check’ and saw two men outside. They say Martin drew a gun on the officer, who, ‘fearing for his life’, fired several shots in response. They said a firearm found at the scene belonged to the deceased.

If that’s the way it happened, the shooting is justified.

Sergeant Brian Schellman said more information would be released at a press conference at 7am, and that authorities would soon release footage showing ‘the gentleman raise a handgun and the officer fire a shot’. He added that the officer only pulled his gun when one of the two people outside the gas station pulled out a weapon.

So law enforcement say they will release the video footage? Good. Now, let’s see what “witnesses” and family members are saying.

According to the St Louis Post Dispatch, Mrs [Toni] Martin said her son was walking with his girlfriend to the store when police arrived. She claims that he was shot dead as he ‘was trying to get up and run’.

So he was running away when he was shot in the back? Let’s se what the video says. [Update, total lie. See the video.]

‘He was a good young man. He was 18. He was trying to get his life back together. We were trying to get him back in school and stuff.’

She denied that her son was armed. ‘He had no gun,’ she added.

He was a good young man… He was trying to get his life back together… The “he was turning his life around” bull is getting really old. [Update: Again, total lie. You can see he’s pointing what certainly looks to be a gun at the cop.]

The media – by publishing hearsay from the mother (he was running away… he had no gun) – is complicit in any criminal activity that may result from publishing context that she’s made up from thin air. So, let’s take a look at the St. Louis Dispatch story.

Toni Martin said her son was with his girlfriend at the time of the shooting. The girlfriend remained at the scene but declined to talk to a reporter.

Smart move by the girlfriend. She’s going to let other people make up stories and lie about the shooting. And it sounds like a few troublemaker protesters showed up after the shooting to make things worse.

At one point, as some of the protesters grew rowdy, explosive flashes were set off. It was unclear by who.

Also, a QuikTrip store near the Mobil station was damaged by vandals before police officers closed access to it.

So, what did the observers say?

Mike Smith, 30, was among those who came to the shooting scene. …

“This is ridiculous, man,” Smith said of Martin’s shooting. “After the first one this sh– should have stopped. My only question is: what exactly did he do to be killed?”

Maybe Mr. Smith should avoid jumping to conclusions, assuming the cop just walked up and shot this kid? Maybe he should have just stayed home and waited to see how the story unfolds? Nope, Smith had to go there and make things more difficult for everyone involved.

Someone else who came to the Mobil after the shooting was the Rev. Starsky Wilson, one of the co-chairmen of the  Ferguson Commission set up by Gov. Jay Nixon to look into the social and economic issues at play in north St. Louis County.

“Black. Young person shot by a police officer,” Wilson said, describing it as a familiar narrative.

It’s not at all a familiar narrative. That’s a total fabrication. Has the “Reverend” made even one statement to the media at the scene of a black-on-black violent crime?

“When you see police escalate, you see violence,” Wilson said.

Another total lie. How exactly did law enforcement “escalate” the situation the night of the Grand Jury decision in Ferguson? Then we have Darien Gatewood, who also felt he had to inject himself into the scene last night.

“Somebody just lost their son before Christmas,” Gatewood said. “This is a present from law enforcement.”

Gatewood spoke in a calm voice as he watched the crowd at the scene, which had dwindled to about a dozen by 4:30 a.m.

He  added: “Honestly no one out here respects the police. That’s the feeling we have.”

I’m just not sure what to say. I understand Smith, Gatewood and Rev. Wilson had little or no access to media coverage as they were standing there at the scene, but certainly someone must have gotten them the message Martin pulled out a gun and shot at the cops?

The AP story that was published at Yahoo! was updated just before 8 a.m. ET.

A suburban St. Louis police officer shot and killed a man who pointed a gun at him at a gas station, police said.

Right from the start, the AP got the first paragraph correct. No speculation. No mention of race. No mention of Ferguson. To be honest, I’m not sure how the first AP release started, but at least in this version they waited until the end of the second paragraph to mention Michael Brown.

The video up to the point of the actual shooting was released by St. Louis County Police this morning at about 8 a.m. ET.

Update: Original reports avoided mention of the crowd’s action at the scene. I just saw a brief video clip that can only be described as “chaos about to happen.” Law enforcement was totally on the defensive.

Update: When you watch the video, you’ll note there is about 60 seconds of what seems to be normal, calm conversation between the cop and the two males he is speaking with. After walking away a few steps, the shooter (Martin) turns around, takes two steps towards the officer – who has moved slowly forward – and pulls out the gun pointing it directly at the officer less than 10 feet away. Up to this point, the officer showed complete restraint. If Martin pulled the trigger and shot – there are no reports he got a shot off – I can not see how the cop would have not been shot.

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Steve McGough

Steve's a part-time conservative blogger. Steve grew up in Connecticut and has lived in Washington, D.C. and the Bahamas. He resides in Connecticut, where he’s comfortable six months of the year.


  1. PaulBartomioli on December 24, 2014 at 8:40 am

    What did you expect? When I got the email about this, it was horrible. EVEN IF it is a justifiable shooting, the Sh** will hit the fan. Maybe these people will succeed in their goal of destroying their homes and town because of lies. God help them

  2. bien-pensant on December 26, 2014 at 9:14 am

    Here’s something different: How about one or more of the responsible individuals in the community tell the truth for a change? If you step up on a cop and point a pistol at him or her, you can EXPECT to get yourself shot and most likely killed.
    That would be change I can believe in. Truth as opposed to the liberal hand-wringing and spin.

  3. Lynn on December 28, 2014 at 1:44 pm

    I heard the first reporting of the incident on the TV. Clear cut case, the police officer was justified. Then I heard how the story (and make no mistake about it, it became a story.)evolved. I also heard the mother say, ” he was trying to get his life together” reported on TV. Right then, I knew the officer was going to become the “problem”. Thanks for your play by play, Steve,this was reported by the St Louis Post Dispatch. And so the fictitious story grew. I know I sound like an old fogey, but I’ve heard this kind of story telling before. In the late 60’s during the protests of the Vietnam War. First, it wasKent State, and the iconic picture of the young woman in her grief because her friend had been shot by the police, excuse me they were now referred to as “pigs”

    • PaulBartomioli on January 1, 2015 at 10:18 am

      Kent State occurred during the race riots and the Viet Nam protests. It was a typical protest of every grievance possible. The National Guard was called in by the governor because campus security was a joke and local PD was not even close to being in sufficient numbers. As someone stated, live ammo was issued; it was not a mistake, it was SOP. The “mistake” lie was an attempt to CYA. What good is any firearm if it is unloaded? or has blanks. Bean Bag rounds, rubber bullets, and other “non lethal” options were not available.

      As I recall, and the news reports back then were as bad as today, the order to fire, was given after the protest began to move towards the National Guard. Reports were/are conflicting. Some say they were ordered to shoot into the crowd, others said “warning shots” over their heads or into the ground in front of the mob. BTW, the Guard was issued M-1 Garrands, WWII/Korea Issue. Their bullets will travel for 3 miles, unimpeded, before gravity takes over.

  4. Lynn on December 28, 2014 at 2:00 pm

    Since there aren’t a lot of comments, I will continue. I really don’t know what actually happened at Kent State except that it was a full fledged riot and I was not politically aware nor experienced in trying to see both sides of an incident. Now, I would assume, the police were trying to quell the riot. But, Kent State became a rallying cry, the police were brutes. Neil Young wrote a song about it, that became the romantic ode of Woodstock. Woodstock the peace and love festival, where the establishment became evil. I was amazed that the firebombing of the home of the Dean of Wesleyan was somehow justified. Wrong became right, the moral code was rewritten then, as it is now. Now project from here, my generation became the professors at the elite colleges. Bill Ayres killed police officers then, and he advises President Obama. These professors taught their versions of the 60’s, and their hatred of the establishment and the evil police that you never trusted. Voila, the leftist media. Ancient History class over.

  5. bien-pensant on December 31, 2014 at 8:59 am

    Someone issued live ammunition to the Ohio National Guardsmen. A tragic and truly stupid move that was compounded into a deadly event.
    Guardsmen panicked and fired their rifles. Innocent people died.
    I can only guess that many commentators have drifted away due to lack of consistent posts. I hope Steve got some helpers from Santa.

    • Lynn on December 31, 2014 at 4:37 pm

      Me too. It is a huge job to carry alone. Thanks for the info on Kent State. I have to say, it is pretty liberating to post my meandering, non sequential thoughts when no one or almost no one reads them.

  6. sammy22 on December 31, 2014 at 10:54 pm

    Happy 2015.

  7. bien-pensant on January 1, 2015 at 9:17 am

    Happy New Year!
    It is a blank slate, let’s see what gets written on it.

  8. PaulBartomioli on January 1, 2015 at 10:19 am

    Happy New Year!

  9. Lynn on January 1, 2015 at 1:25 pm

    Happy New Year to all in RVO land, but especially to you loyal three.

  10. Lynn on January 1, 2015 at 1:46 pm

    Ok, I should have at least thanked five regulars


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