Was St. Louis cop AMBUSHED? Lawyer for officer who shot dead 18-year-old suggests he was lured to the gas station near Michael Brown scene ...as new video shows the cop running away as teen pulls handgun
- Antonio Martin, 18, was shot and killed outside a gas station in St Louis, Missouri around 11pm on Tuesday
- The scene is just three miles from where 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot in Ferguson in August
- Martin was killed by a police officer who was responding to a call in the area about a robbery
- The unnamed officer climbed out of his car to speak to two men and as he spoke to the other man, Martin pulled out a gun and pointed it at the officer, who then pulled out his weapon and fired, police said
- Police Chief Jon Belmar said it didn't have to end with the boy's death, but he made 'bad choices'
- Detectives investigating the shooting said they recovered a 9mm firearm at the scene
- Authorities are still looking for the man who was with Martin; he fled after the shooting
- Mrs Martin denied that her son was carrying a firearm last night and say he was shot as he tried to run away
- After the shooting, as many as 300 people gathered at the scene and people detonated explosives, police said; four people were arrested and at least two officers were injured
- Berkeley Mayor Theodore Hoskins said the situation should not draw comparisons with Ferguson, which did not have surveillance footage of the incident and where there are far fewer black police officers
History of violence: Police say that Antonio Martin, 18, had been has been arrested for three assaults, armed robbery, armed criminal action and several weapons charges since he was 17
The lawyer for the St. Louis-area cop who shot dead Antonio Martin on Tuesday night has suggested his client may have been set up and ambushed by Antonio Martin, who police say pulled a loaded 9mm pistol on the officer without warning.
The Berkeley, Missouri, officer was responding to a 911 call about a possible theft from a Mobil gas station about 11.15pm on Tuesday.
Brian Millikan, the lawyer for the unnamed 34-year-old Berkeley officer, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the cop may have been walking into a deadly trap set by Martin and his friend.
'Their behavior is certainly bizarre, and it wouldn't surprise me at all, in the environment we are in, that's for sure,' Mr Millikan told the newspaper.
The shooting happened just three miles from where unarmed teen Michael Brown was shot dead by white officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson in August. Berkeley, like Ferguson, is a predominately black St. Louis suburb.
The Tuesday night shooting caused bedlam. Within hours, more than 300 furious protesters gathered at the gas station. The protests turned violent when someone set off an explosive next to the gas pump. Another protester lit firecrackers. Several angry members of the mob lobbed rocks and bricks at officers.
Four people were arrested and at least two officers were injured - including one who was caught in the bomb blast.
The comments from the officer's lawyer come as St. Louis County police released two other surveillance camera videos from the gas station - including one that shows the cop stumbling and backward and then fleeing after firing three shots at Martin.
Police say that Martin pulled a loaded handgun on the officer without warning while the cop was talking to him and a friend in the parking lot of the Mobil on Tuesday night.
The officer stumbled backward, dropped his flashlight and fired as he fell to the ground.
One of the shots hit Martin and killed him. One went into the tire of the officer's squad car. The third bullet has not been found.
Martin did not open fire on the officer after pulling the gun, police say. Mr Millikan said that had Martin shot, he could have killed the officer before he had a chance to react. Mr Millikan said he did not know whether Martin tried to open fire and the gun malfunctioned - or whether teen never pulled the trigger.
Police are still looking for the second suspect from the evening - who can been seen in surveillance video sprinting away at full speed when the shooting starts.
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Fleeing for his life: The officer is seen in newly released surveillance camera footage falling to the ground after Antonio Martin pulled a gun on him, according to police. He then runs to the other side of the gas station
Police say that as the officer fell, he fired three shots - one of which hit Martin and killed him. Martin, who is off screen, had pulled a loaded pistol on the officer without warning, police say
On Wednesday St. Louis County police released photos of the loaded pistol that they say Martin pulled on the officer. They also released surveillance footage from the gas station that appears to show Martin pointing a gun at the officer the split second before the cop opened fire.
Despite the three videos and the photos of the gun, Martin's family and many supporters don't believe the version of events that police are offering.
Martin's grandmother, Margret Chandler, 65, told the Los Angeles Times: 'If he was in the wrong, I want to know he was in the wrong. I want to see the gun in his hand. I don't want them to tell me he had it. I want to see it. These police do some dirty things. They just wait until nightfall to see some young black men and gun them down.'
The shooting two days before Christmas comes at a time when tensions between the black community and police are at their highest in recent memory. The decision by the grand jury in St. Louis not to indict the officer in Mike Brown's death - along with other failures to indict in high-profile cases - sparked mass protests and fury over alleged police brutality across the country.
The anger at police took a horrific turn on Saturday when two New York officers were executed in their squad car by a man who said he was targeting cops as revenge for the deaths of Brown and New York chokehold victim Eric Garner.
The death of Martin, a young black man, at the hands of a white police officer sparked immediate comparisons to Ferguson and other cases where police have been accused of using excessive force.
'They can't kill us all': The killing on Antonio Martin drew immediate comparisons to the death of Michael Brown in nearby Ferguson and other cases where police brutality has been alleged
Protesters turned out on Wednesday night to the gas station where Martin was killed
Protesters were out in force again on Wednesday - after retreating following Tuesday night's melee with police. One woman waved an upside-down American flag. Martin's mother and stepfather joined a at least a dozen other people in a candle-lit vigil in the parking lot of the gas station where her son was killed.
A memorial of flowers and stuffed animals also cropped up near the spot where he was killed. One mourner posted a sign that said, 'They can't kill us all.'
But speaking about the death on Wednesday morning, Berkeley Mayor Theodore Hoskins said that the incident should not draw comparisons with the death of Brown, who was unarmed and whose death was not caught on camera. Mayor Hoskins, who himself is black, added that Berkeley has a predominantly African American police force so his officers are more sensitive to race relations than officers in Ferguson.
He said that after hearing that a black teenager had been shot by a white officer last night, his first reaction was that it was another case of police brutality. But after finding out what happened, 'I can assure you that did not happen last night', he said.
'Everybody don't die the same,' he said. 'Some people die because police initiate it. Some people die because they initiate it. At this point, our review indicated that the police did not initiate this.'
Police have revealed that Martin had a history of arrests and had been arrested at least twice as a 17-year-old.
He has previously been charged with three assaults, armed robbery, armed criminal action and several weapons charges.
Killed: Friends paid tribute to Antonio Martin, pictured, on social media on Wednesday, hours after he was shot dead by a white cop
On camera: Surveillance footage taken outside a Mobil gas station in Berkeley, Missouri shows a police car, top left, after the officer responded to calls of a theft in the area. The officer got out of the car to speak to two men and shot one of them dead
Arm raised: 18-year-old Antonio Martin can be seen just left of the car, behind the woman, raising a weapon towards a police officer
Heartbroken: Toni Martin sobs after her son, Antonio Martin, was shot dead by police officers outside a gas station in Berkeley, Missouri on Tuesday night. She told reporters at the scene 'that's my baby'
Pained: Mrs Martin is pictured at the scene with her son's girlfriend, seen left, who later expressed her sadness on Facebook
Violence: Antonio Martin, 18, was shot dead by police at a Mobil gas station, and protests quickly erupted at the scene