Multiple witnesses are disputing police accounts of the shooting of an 18-year-old man near Ferguson, Missouri — the site of ongoing protests of the fatal police shooting of another black teenager last year.
Police in Normandy, which is just south of Ferguson, said in a statement that Amonderez Green shot himself in the face Wednesday afternoon after firing at officers during a pursuit.
“It appears at this time that the male was not struck by law enforcement gunfire,” the department said in a statement.
.@stlcountypd are investigating a shooting involving a resident today. Despite rumors, Ferguson PD did not shoot a suspect.
— City of Ferguson (@FergusonScoop) October 28, 2015
Officers were called to help find a “suicidal suspect” whose family was attempting to calm him down, and police said Green removed a gun from his waistband and opened fire when they tried to speak to him.
Police said they tried to use a Taser to subdue the “uncooperative” Green, but it had no effect, so one 12-year Normandy police veteran returned fire and missed.
Officers said Green fled, and police said they heard a gunshot and later found the Florissant man lying unresponsive on the ground.
However, several witnesses claim they saw police shoot Green — and video appears to record him begging officers not to shoot.
“He was right at eye level as [the officer] shot him,” said one woman, who saw two police officers outside her window from about six or seven feet away. “It was not a suicide — at all.”
Dominique Clemons told the Huffington Post that she witnessed the shooting from about three houses up the street.
“While he was running, he turned around to face the police and that’s when he got shot in the face. I saw his body drop,” Clemons said. “They shot him in the face — his whole right side of his face was gone, his top lip was gone.”
Deron Smith told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that Green could not have been holding a gun because he used two hands to climb a fence, but police said they found a gun at the scene.
“You see the boy fall in the grass — the police shot him,” said a woman who witnessed the shooting. “He did not not kill his self at all. He ran from over here to the other side of the yard, you know what I’m saying, he jumped the fence to the back yard, jumped through the other back yard and they shot him (over there).”
— The Source Magazine (@TheSource) October 29, 2015
A video recorded during the incident captures the sound of a single gunshot and a man’s voice screaming, “Don’t shoot me,” and “Don’t kill me, oh god.”
Green was taken to a hospital for treatment of the gunshot wound, but he was later pronounced dead.
Officers from both Normandy and Ferguson were involved in the shooting, witnesses said, although a police spokeswoman said a Normandy officer shot at Green.
Green’s father said relatives told Ferguson police they “had everything under control” before his son fled.
“I apologize for cussing, but that’s the only damn son I got,” said Jermell Simpson. “When he started running, Ferguson [police] started shooting.”
Simpson also witnessed the shooting, and he strongly disputes police claims.
“What they’re saying is a total lie,” Simpson said. “I saw everything that happened.”
Protests have roiled Ferguson for months since former officer Darren Wilson shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown during a confrontation over a jaywalking violation.
Wilson was not charged in Brown’s killing.
Watch this video that captures the shooting of Amonderez Green: