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Attorneys try to pick apart St. Louis police narrative of fatal officer-involved shooting

Attorneys try to pick apart St. Louis police narrative of fatal officer-involved shooting

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ST. LOUIS • Attorneys for the family of Mansur Ball-Bey, the 18-year-old fatally shot by police last week while executing a search warrant for drugs and guns, on Monday led reporters on a tour of the home to bolster their position that he wasn’t in the house when it was raided.

Police have said Ball-Bey and a 14-year-old ran out the back door of the residence and encountered two officers in the alley. They say Ball-Bey pointed a stolen handgun with an extended magazine at one of them.

The second-story flat at 1243 Walton Avenue has a long, steep rear staircase that leads to a door secured with a board. From there, attorneys showed how Ball-Bey would have had to run across the backyard, hop a fence into the alley, then run through another nearby backyard to the south and down a gangway before collapsing from a single gunshot wound to the back.

“The police narration isn’t plausible at all,” Jermaine Wooten, an attorney for Ball-Bey’s family, said at the scene. “That’s a lot of running he would have had to do to get to this point.”

Ball-Bey’s cousins live at the residence, but they told attorneys he wasn’t at the home when police arrived. They said he was coming there from work at FedEx shortly before the shooting.

Wooten said the 14-year-old boy who escaped arrest told him in an interview that he and Ball-Bey were unarmed and had been surprised to see two men with guns run up on them in the back alley. He said the 14-year-old said they ran to avoid attack and didn’t realize the two men were police officers.

“If we had body cameras we wouldn’t have the controversy we are having now,” added attorney Jerryl Christmas.

Representatives of the St. Louis police Force Investigative Unit also showed up Monday for the tour. They weren’t allowed inside the home, but they video-recorded some of the attorneys’ statements.

“Mr. Wooten has obviously talked to witnesses that we haven’t talked to,” Lt. Roger Engelhardt said at the scene. “We encourage those witnesses to come forward so we can interview them and get their perspective on this incident.”

Engelhardt declined to answer specific questions about the case for fear that it would influence witness statements. He wouldn’t comment about the two officers involved in the incident.

While attorneys tried to punch holes in the official narrative of the case, Christmas and Wooten said they haven’t asked witnesses about the crack and stolen guns police found at the residence. “We were not interested in that portion of it,” Wooten said.

Meanwhile, funeral services for Ball-Bey are set for this weekend. A short visitation will be held Saturday before a 10:30 a.m. funeral service at Christ Pilgrim Rest Missionary Baptist Church, 1341 North Kingshighway.

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