According to The Associated Press, Amonderez Green, an 18-year-old Black youth who allegedly engaged in a gun battle with St. Louis-area police, died from a self-sustained gunshot wound.
The medical examiner’s autopsy report stated that Green died from “one gunshot wound, which was located under the chin,” said St. Louis County police spokesman Brian Schellman in a news release.
The autopsy report found that ballistic evidence showed Green was killed by a bullet fired from a .38 revolver. Police say this was the same kind of gun Green had wielded in his encounter with officers. According to police reports, Green’s family members called law enforcement and medical services seeking an intervention because he was suicidal. Green was alleged to have exchanged gunfire with a Normandy police officer. Video footage shows family members on the scene pleading for the police not to shoot him.
Green’s family and witnesses dispute many of the findings from the police report, according to The St. Louis Post-Dispatch. They say they “had things covered” until the police showed up.
“What they’re saying is a total lie,” said Green’s father, Jermell Simpson.
Eyewitness videos posted to social media also challenge the police’s account of the incident. Some bystanders claim Green didn’t have a gun and was shot by police. Deron Smith, who lives in the neighborhood, witnessed part of the encounter. He told The St. Louis Post-Dispatch that Green did not appear to have a gun, because he was using both hands to scale fences.
The incident occurred near the Normandy-Ferguson city line. Ferguson police chief Andre Anderson referred all questions to Normandy police, who were handling the situation. A Normandy officer, who exchanged fire with Green, has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.
Green was an aspiring rapper who had uploaded several songs to SoundCloud, a music sharing site.
“He was very loving and very sweet and humble. He was a hard worker and supported his family,” said his cousin, Donneka Green, in an interview with The Huffington Post.
Another friend told The Huffington Post that Green may have been a bit of a hothead, “but he wasn’t a killer.”