The shooting death of 18-year-old Mansur Ball-Bey sent the city of St. Louis into unrest as citizens gathered in protest after the teen was fatally gunned down by police. A preliminary autopsy conducted after the Aug. 19 killing revealed a narrative quite different from the one portrayed by the officers involved, officials announced on Friday (Aug. 21).
Officers were reportedly executing a warrant on the 1200 block of Walton when they entered the home near the alley where the shooting took place. According to accounts by police, Ball-Bey and another suspect were both armed with guns and ran upon their entrance into the house. Police claimed that upon their order to drop their weapons, Ball-Bey turned and pointed his gun. The newly released autopsy revealed that a shot entered Ball-Bey’s back, hitting his heart and another artery and likely killed him almost instantly, Yahoo! News reports.
“There are so many variables,” said St. Louis Chief Medical Examiner Michael Graham. “But he certainly wasn’t facing, his chest wasn’t facing the officers.”
Police and Bell-Bey family’s attorney disagree about whether or not the late teen was carrying a gun at the time of his death. According to local news station KSDK, four guns were collected from the scene of the shooting along with a “quantity” of crack-cocaine allegedly possessed by Roderick Williams, the other teenager involved in the chase. His bond has been set at $50,000.
Investigations in Bell-Bey’s death are ongoing. Police Chief Sam Dotson, who defended the officers to protesters, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the autopsy results are not conclusive.
“Just because he was shot in the back doesn’t mean he was running away,”he said. “It could be, and I’m not saying that it doesn’t mean that. I just don’t know yet. What I do know is that two officers were involved and fired shots, but I don’t know exactly where they were standing yet and I won’t know until I get their statements.”