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St. Louis County prosecutors release video of deadly police shooting near Galleria mall

St. Louis County prosecutors release video of deadly police shooting near Galleria mall

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Warning: This video depicts graphic content and sound. The St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney's office has released dashcam footage that shows the moments leading up to and following the shooting death of Terry Tillman in 2019. Video from the Richmond Heights Police Department.

UPDATED at 10:30 a.m. Friday with comments from Terry Tillman's mother.

CLAYTON — Four months after announcing no charges in a 2019 deadly police shooting near the Galleria shopping center, the St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office has released police dashcam video of the incident.

The office responded to a records request from the Post-Dispatch by releasing this week a series of videos from the shooting of Terry Tillman on Aug. 31, 2019, near the shopping center. Tillman, 23, was shot several times after running from the mall, where officers had confronted him in a store about a handgun with a high-capacity magazine sticking out of his waistband. The mall prohibits guns.

Other St. Louis news media also obtained and published video of the incident this week.

The dashboard videos show officers driving into the parking garage near the Simmons Bank on Clayton Road, where a Richmond Heights officer shot Tillman on an outer staircase. County Prosecutor Wesley Bell said in December that prosecutors would be unable to prove that the officer who killed Tillman acted unreasonably in using deadly force to defend himself. Authorities have not released the name of the officer who shot Tillman.

Bell’s office at the time showed reporters a series of videos that included surveillance from the mall. The office in December declined to provide a copy of the videos but months later released raw video clips collected during the police investigation.

Videos released this week show Tillman emerge from around the corner of a wall on the second floor of the bank’s parking garage just as the officer runs up the stairs. Authorities said the officer shot Tillman toward the top of the staircase, firing a total of seven shots. The officer who shot Tillman later told investigators that as he approached the stairwell, he could hear another officer shouting at Tillman to drop his gun and see that officer with his gun drawn.

Police recovered a .40-caliber handgun with an extended magazine holding 28 rounds that resembled a handgun seen in a livestreamed video of Tillman earlier in the day. Police said they removed the gun from Tillman’s hand as he lay on the staircase and then gave Tillman CPR for several minutes.

Tillman’s death sparked protests in front of Richmond Heights City Hall and at the shopping center. Protesters at racial justice gatherings in the St. Louis region last year following George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis often invoked Tillman’s name. Tillman was Black and the officer who shot him is white.

Tillman's mother AnDrea Martin said she believes officers should have allowed her son to leave the mall, that the shooting was unjustified and that the officer who shot her son did not rely on his training.

"The gun was on his waist," Martin said of her son. "He never pointed it at anyone."

Martin said she believes police focused on her son because he's a Black male.

"They should not have killed him," she said. "Once he ran away from the mall, the threat was gone."

Amir Brandy, an activist who took part in street protests over Tillman’s death, said he believes the video shows the shooting was not justified. He said he suspects police planted the gun on Tillman because Brandy believes, based on conversations with witnesses, that Tillman dropped the gun as he ran from officers.

But the video released this week appears to show an officer remove a gun from Tillman’s hand after Tillman was shot.

Brandy said he thinks Bell’s office should have filed charges in Tillman’s death.

“I do believe that based on the information that was recorded by dispatch that went out over the air, that the officer panicked and shot,” said Brandy, who added that police were wrong to portray Tillman as the aggressor that day.

Brandy said he’s glad the video has been released. He also said he spoke with Tillman’s mother Thursday and that she said she and her family were concerned about Tillman’s daughter seeing her father’s death online.

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