ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) – News 4 has obtained exclusive video of an officer-involved shooting that killed a St. Louis teenager.
Police say 16-year-old Darryl Ross ran from police and was reaching for a gun when officers shot him.
“He ran. What we are trained to do is yell ‘police! stop!’ and he kept going,” says Lt. John Green with the St Louis Metropolitan Police Department (SLMPD).
“He was running because he was scared,” says family spokesperson, Anastasia Syes.
Ross’ family believes the teen was wrongfully killed and both officers should be suspended without pay.
“Murdered, overkilled by the police,” Syes says. “The point is he didn’t pull the gun on the police. He didn’t shoot or even aim towards pulling the gun on the police.”
The fatal shooting happened just after 11:30pm at the Shell gas station at the intersection of North Florissant and St. Louis Avenue. Investigators have refused to release the full 9-minute video to the public, citing an ongoing investigation.
News 4 received two clips of the deadly shooting from the gas station surveillance cameras. The first clip shows Ross running from police. The second video shows him reaching for an object on the ground. Police say he was trying to grab a gun. Ross’ loved ones don’t agree.
“That’s excessive force on a child that was down and you’re standing over his body. You could have tased him. You could have grabbed him. The gun’s on the ground,” Syes says.
“I did observe a gun. The subject did resist, and the officer drew his weapon and went to deadly force, that’s what I observed,” says Lt. Green.
“The mother really wants me to bring awareness that the police need to be trained better. She’s acknowledging that her child had the gun. She’s also acknowledging that he was a good kid,” Syes says.
According to police, officers were surveying the gas station that night as part of a drug sting operation. Police say Ross was selling drugs, but the family says otherwise.
“There is not clear evidence in that footage that any money or any drugs exchanged hands,” Syes says.
News 4 also learned SLMPD has shown the full surveillance video to a group of local ministers. Dr. Linden Bowie was one of those clergy members.
“That’s an upsetting video. Whenever you witness a life taken in its own film, that’s upsetting,” says Bowie. “I don’t necessarily think that I should have been shown before the public.”
On Tuesday, the city coroner’s office updated News 4 on the status of Ross’ autopsy results. Police have not revealed how many shots were fired.
“The case for Darryl Ross is not finished. It takes about 2-3 months for a death certificate and an autopsy report to be completed,” says Ashley Weekes of the Medical Examiner’s Office. “Once the autopsy report is completed and the case is closed then I have to get permission to release the case as it is a homicide.”
“There are a lot of loopholes and unanswered questions that the police really need to answer on this case” Syes says.
Ross’ funeral is set for later this week.
The St. Louis Public School confirms he attended Vashon High School.
The status of the two officers involved remains unknown.
Mayor Tishaura Jones has seen the video and a spokesperson released the following statement:
By releasing the video to the family, community stakeholders, and the press, the Department of Public Safety is keeping the public informed while still protecting the integrity of an ongoing investigation. Community leaders have already noted that this is a major step forward for the city and is in line with the mayor’s commitment to transparency with the community around this incident.
As a mother of a teenage son, Mayor Jones recognizes the tragic circumstances that led to Darryl Ross losing his life are far too familiar for youth across our city, which is why she remains committed to creating safe places and good opportunities for our young people. She has seen the video and is awaiting progress in the investigation.
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