(Reuters) – An autopsy of the black teenager shot and killed by St. Louis police this week showed he died from a single wound in the back, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported on Friday, citing the city’s police chief.
Chief Sam Dotson said the wound’s location neither proves nor disproves the contention of officers at the scene of the shooting that Mansur Ball-Bey refused to drop a gun and pointed it at them, the newspaper reported.
Police and officials at the medical examiner’s office could not immediately be reached for comment. An investigation of the incident continues, Dotson told the newspaper.
Wednesday’s shooting, which sparked angry clashes between residents and officers, came less than two weeks after the St. Louis area was flooded with protesters from around the country marking the anniversary of the Aug. 9, 2014, police killing of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown by a white police officer in nearby Ferguson, Missouri.
Brown’s death was one of a series of police killings of unarmed black men and teens across the United States that sparked a newly energized civil rights movement under the banner “Black Lives Matter”.
Police said Ball-Bey had pointed a gun at them and he was struck four times and killed. Police said the officers were serving a search warrant in a crime-ridden neighborhood when they saw two young black men flee the house, and a short chase ensued.
Unidentified police sources told the newspaper that investigators found fingerprints and DNA on the gun police say Ball-Bey pointed at them, but the results are not yet available. Unidentified sources also told the newspaper that a witness has come forward who heard the officers’ shots, then saw Ball-Bey throw his weapon before running through a gangway and collapsing.