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Police say black man was shot when he pointed gun at officer

September 4, 2019

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A black man shot and killed by a police officer near a large shopping mall over the weekend had pointed his gun at a second officer at the time, a St. Louis County police spokesman said Tuesday.

Sgt. Benjamin Granda told a news conference that Terry Tillman was killed by three to five gunshots to his front torso and an autopsy found no wounds to his back, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch .

Earlier Tuesday, St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell urged patience during his investigation of the shooting.

A Richmond Heights, Missouri, police officer on Saturday killed 23-year-old Terry Tillman. The officer saw Tillman inside the St. Louis Galleria carrying a gun. Concealed carry is legal in Missouri, but the mall prohibits weapons.

St. Louis County police said the officer told Tillman of the policy and Tillman ran outside. The officer chased him to a parking garage, where the man was shot.

Police said a weapon was recovered but few other details have been released.

Prosecutor Wesley Bell said a “thorough and detailed” investigation is being conducted.

“In tragic cases like these, it is important to understand that the need to inform the public has to be balanced with ensuring the integrity of the investigation,” Bell said in a statement posted on his office’s website.

About 30 people protested the shooting Monday at the Galleria. Two protesters were arrested for blocking a street.

The officer involved in the shooting is 50 years old and a 23-year police veteran. Police have not disclosed his name or any other information about him.

Court records show that Tillman was wanted on an arrest warrant issued in February for failing to appear in court on a felony stealing charge. He allegedly tried to sell a stolen car.

Richmond Heights is just a few miles from Ferguson, the site of several massive protests after Michael Brown, who was black and unarmed, was fatally shot by white officer Darren Wilson on Aug. 9, 2014. A St. Louis County grand jury and the U.S. Department of Justice declined to prosecute Wilson, who resigned in November 2014.

The county prosecutor at the time, Bob McCulloch, drew criticism from some for failing to charge Wilson. Bell, a former Ferguson City Council member, defeated McCulloch in the August 2018 primary and was unopposed in the November 2018 general election. He became the county’s first-ever black prosecutor when he took office in January.

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