The City of Berkeley, Missouri, says its Police Department’s internal investigation of the shooting of 18-year-old Antonio Brown confirms that Brown did point a gun at one of its police officers moments before that officer fatally shot him, late the night of December 23.
Police Chief Frank McCall said that account was confirmed by “several” witnesses and video evidence.
“Mister Martin was armed. Mister Martin did fire … attempt to fire when he pulled a weapon on the officer, pointed at the officer,” said McCall, “and the officer, in fear of his life, retreated, and while doing so fired approximately three rounds.”
He says in addition to other witnesses, police interviewed an individual that was with Martin that night, “who confirms Mister Martin had a weapon and pointed it at the officer,” said McCall. “This individual also advised that he fled for fear of his life because he didn’t know if he would be shot.”
McCall also cited that the second officer to arrive and medical personnel who responded to the scene observed the gun Martin was said to have pointed at the officer.
McCall speculates that Martin did not fire at the officer because the gun’s safety was on, though he admits he did not handle the gun.
Mayor Theodore Hoskins says the officer that killed Martin remains on administrative leave.
“It’s trying times for him. It’s difficult. We all, especially the Berkeley family and the community, we are asking that you be considerate of him,” Hoskins said to the media at a conference Tuesday afternoon. “At this point we do not want to disclose his name, but he needs professional help.”
Hoskins asked the media not to release the name of the officer.
Some protesters have been skeptical of the account that Martin was killed after aiming a gun at the officer. Hoskins said that can’t be helped.
“We can only present the facts, and if they do not believe in that then that’s on them,” said Hoskins, “but let me reassure you that the City of Berkeley will not tolerate what occurred last night,” he added, referring to some protests in the city.
“Protests should be peaceful, and we understand the constitutionality of protests, but there is no reason for the protesters to continue in the City of Berkeley unless they will not accept the fact that Mister Martin drew his gun first,” said Hoskins.
An investigation by St. Louis County of the Martin shooting is ongoing and will be turned over to the prosecuting attorney’s office when complete, according to a Department spokesman.