(FERGUSON, Mo.) — Police “cannot say” how many times an 18-year-old was struck when a Ferguson, Missouri, officer shot him after an altercation — but the young man was unarmed, officials said Sunday.
“Was the other subject, the deceased, the 18-year-old, armed with a handgun or rifle or any type of weapon at the time? The answer to that is no,” said Jon Belmar, chief of the St. Louis County Police Department, which was investigating the shooting by a Ferguson Police Department officer. Police have not disclosed the name of the teen.
“It started out, the genesis of this, was a physical confrontation,” Belmar said.
The Saturday afternoon shooting in a suburb of St. Louis sparked outrage, which continued Sunday as residents marched to police headquarters to demand answers.
“It is our understanding at this point in the investigation that within the police car there was a struggle over the officer’s weapon,” Belmar said.
According to the police chief, the officer said he then got out of his vehicle and shot “at a subject.”
“There were shell casings recovered. The shell casings are all matched to one weapon, that’s the officer’s weapon,” he said. “There were more than a few shell casings recovered. I cannot say at this time how many times the subject was struck.”
The officer was able to get out of the car and the fatal shooting occurred approximately 35 feet from where the vehicle was parked.
Belmar added that it was unclear whether a second person allegedly involved in the confrontation was armed.
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