*Opposing stories have emerged in the shooting death of 18-year-old black teen Amonderez P. Green near Ferguson, Mo., the town where unarmed black teen Michael Brown was shot dead by Officer Darren Wilson last year, sparking protests across the nation.
Authorities confirmed Thursday that Green, 18, died of a gunshot wound after firing at officers Wednesday afternoon. But it’s unclear who fired the fatal shot.
Police in Normandy, where the incident occurred, claim that Green shot himself as they approached him. But several people claiming to have witnessed the incident, including his father, said Green was shot by Ferguson police officers.
In video filmed by a witness, a woman said to be Green’s mother is heard screaming, “Don’t shoot my baby!” before a gunshot rings out.
LISTEN !!!! Listen close EVEN IF YOU GOTTA PUT THE PHONE TO YOUR EAR LISTEN HE IS SAYING PLEASE DONT KILL ME OH GOD pic.twitter.com/AXFPBgVICq
— Nique2X (@_prettyassnique) October 28, 2015
The Normandy Police Department said this all started when they were called in to help find a “suicidal subject” whose family was attempting to calm him down. When officers found Green and attempted to speak to him, he allegedly removed a gun from his waistband and began firing at them. After deploying a Taser to no effect, the officers returned fire, the department said. The teen fled, and another gunshot was heard out of the officers’ sight, according to the police statement. The officers then reportedly found Green on the ground, unresponsive.
However, a woman who says she witnessed the shooting told the Huffington Post that she was looking out her window when she saw Green — who was wearing a red, orange and yellow jacket — turn to face two officers, who were just six or seven feet away from him, when one of the cops shot him in the face.
“We heard approximately six gunshots ring out. I yelled and told my daughter to get down,” she said. “He was right at eye level as [the officer] shot him,” the witness continued. “It was not a suicide. At all.”
Another witness, Dominique Clemons, says she saw the incident from about three houses up the street. She also told HuffPost that the police shot the teen.
“While he was running, he turned around to face the police and that’s when he got shot in the face,” she said, “I saw his body drop. They shot him in the face, his whole right side of his face was gone, his top lip was gone.”
Watch video of these witness accounts below:
A third witness, Deron Smith, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he saw Green running from the officers, but that he didn’t appear to be holding a gun because he was using two hands to scale a fence.
Police, however, said at a press conference that a gun was recovered at the scene.
While the shooting took place in Normandy, several witnesses said some police on the scene were wearing Ferguson uniforms.
A spokeswoman for the Normandy Police Department told St. Louis Public Radio that while Ferguson officers were indeed present, it was a Normandy officer who fired at Green.
Jermell Simpson, the victim’s father, disputes the police account. He says he is certain that Ferguson police officers shot his son.
“I apologize for cussin’, but that’s the only damn son I got,” he says in a video posted to Instagram Wednesday night. “When he started running, Ferguson started shooting.”
“We even told Ferguson … we had everything under control,” Simpson says in the video.
A video posted by King D Seals (@kingdseals) on
Normandy Chief of Police Col. Frank Mininni told HuffPost that St. Louis County police were assisting his department in probing the incident.
“In light of the fact that a Normandy Police Officer returned fire on the suspect after being fired upon, we immediately requested an outside, independent investigation from the St., Louis County Police Department,” he said. “This decision was based upon transparency and an unbiased investigation from an outside department.”