Mansur Ball-Bey, an unarmed black teenager shot and killed by a white St. Louis police officer, was shot in the back, according to the medical examiner. Ball-Bey, 18, was killed when a single gunshot entered through his back and struck his heart, a recently released autopsy report said.
The Mansur Ball-Bey autopsy report could increase tempers which flared in the St. Louis area after the shooting. St. Louis Chief Medical Examiner Michael Graham said the black teenager was struck in the upper right shoulder by the police officer. It would likely be impossible to determine if Ball-Bey had turned his body as the officer squeezed the trigger.
According to police reports, two law enforcement officers shot at Mansur. The officers told investigators that the black teenager pointed a gun at them as he fled the home where they were serving a search warrant. The police officers also reportedly stated that the suspect dropped his gun and continued running after he was struck with the bullet.
Mansur Ball-Bey shooting protesters and police officer clashed on Wednesday evening. The officers were forced to don riot gear and use tear gas in some instances.
The bullet in the fatal shooting did not exit Ball-Bey’s body, according to the autopsy report. The St. Louis medical examiner also stated that Mansur would have died “nearly instantly” and said it would have been difficult to impossible for him to continue running after being wounded. Graham did acknowledge that if the black teenager had been running as the bullet hit his body, there would have been “some forward momentum” after being struck.
“There are so many variables. But he certainly wasn’t facing, his chest wasn’t facing the officers,” Graham also said.
St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson said the autopsy report showing the exact point of entry of the bullet neither proves nor disproves the statements made by the police officers. Jermaine Wooten, the attorney for the Ball-Bey family, maintains that no witnesses saw Mansur with a gun. The teenager was visiting relatives in the area and was not reportedly at the home where the warrant was being served. Why he decided to run from the police remains unclear.
The Mansur Ball-Bey shooting report will be turned over to both the St. Louis city attorney and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for further review.
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