Another Missouri Shooting, Another Set of Questions About Law Enforcement
By Jesse Bogan
Antonio Martin's extended family was in shock early Wednesday, as they waited for details to unfold about the fatal shooting of the 18-year-old at a Berkeley gas station.
"This doesn't make any sense for them to kill my son like this," Toni Martin-Green said early Wednesday from her home located near the University of Missouri-St. Louis campus. "I am trying to be calm."
She said initial video provided by police didn't offer enough information to answer her questions.
According to St. Louis County police, a Berkeley police officer fired at least three shots at a man who pulled a gun on him Tuesday at 11:15 p.m. at a Mobil gas station at 6800 block of North Hanley.
Police have not identified the man, but Martin-Green said it was her son, Antonio – the oldest of four children born to she and Jerome Green.
"He's like any other kid who had dreams or hopes," said Green. "We loved being around him. He'd push a smile out of you."
Green described his son as a "follower" who took medication for being hyperactive. "It was hard for him to focus," Green said.
Martin mainly grew up in the Hyde Park area of North St. Louis before moving with family to unincorporated St. Louis County a few years ago. Martin attended high school in Jennings before dropping out and had also been enrolled in the federal Job Corps program for a spell. He last worked at White Castle and wanted to go back to Job Corps, his father said.
Police say the man shot had a criminal record, with charges including three assaults, armed robbery, armed criminal action and multiple uses of weapons since he was 17.
Martin's parents acknowledged that their son has been arrested before and had "stumbled in the past."
"In the last year, he was really trying to find who he was. He was ready to take the world on," the father said. "He knew he had parents who loved him. He had that support."
"He was not a violent person, to our knowledge," he added. "Around us there weren't any pistols. It's hard to believe that."
His grandmother, Margret Chandler, was also in disbelief.
"When he was around me, he knew to do right," she said. "Why would he pull out a gun against the police? That's the thing I don't get. It just doesn't add up."
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