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Protests Return To St. Louis Area With New Shooting

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Last night protesters and police clashed at a gas nation in Berkeley, Missouri, just a few miles from Ferguson. The protests followed the fatal shooting of an 18-year-old man by a local police officer. Police say surveillance cameras appear to show that the victim aimed a gun at the officer before the officer pulled his weapon. St. Louis Public Radio's Durrie Bouscaren reports.

DURRIE BOUSCAREN, BYLINE: Police have identified the victim as 18-year-old Antonio Martin. Martin and a friend were walking through a gas station parking lot around 11:15 p.m. when they were stopped by an officer responding to a call nearby. According to police, Martin pulled out a pistol and pointed it directly at the officer. The officer pulled out his gun and shot Martin, killing him. Security footage provided by the gas station appears to show the shooting, though it's hard to make out details. St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said footage of the incident from the officer's body camera would have been available, but he wasn't wearing the body camera at the time of the shooting.

JON BELMAR: He said that right when it was handed to him he was doing something at the time, he clipped it somewhere in the car, he didn't put it on. And then the next thing you know, you're here. I think it talks a little bit about sometimes the imperfection of some of the technology that we have, and the fact that we're not used to it.

BOUSCAREN: In a morning press conference, Ted Hoskins, the mayor of Berkeley, immediately tried to distance the incident from the shooting of Michael Brandon in Ferguson last August.

(SOUNDBITE OF PRESS CONFERENCE)

MAYOR TED HOSKINS: Last night everybody, you would've thought I was in Ferguson again. There's this jump to conclusion that all policemen are guilty. And we all know 80, 95 percent of our policemen serve our community well.

BOUSCAREN: Hoskins points out that city officials reflect the majority of Berkeley residents.

(SOUNDBITE OF PRESS CONFERENCE)

HOSKINS: The mayor is black. The city manager's black. The finance director is black. The police chief is black.

BOUSCAREN: I'm standing here at the Mobil gas station. A small group has gathered. They've made a memorial next to a phone booth, with flowers, roses, a green polo T-shirt, teddy bears and a sign that says They Can't Kill Us All.

MIKE JONES: I like that - they can't kill us all. I love that. They really can't.

BOUSCAREN: Mike Jones and a few friends stand in the cold, smoking the occasional cigarette.

JONES: They make it seem perfectly fine to kill us and get away with it, and it's not.

BOUSCAREN: The city of Berkeley and the St. Louis County Police Department say they will conduct parallel investigations into the shooting. The officer has not yet been identified and has been placed on investigative leave.

For NPR News, I'm Durrie Bouscaren.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.