Clashes as black teenager shot dead by police in St Louis
Crowds clash as angry scenes sparked by shooting just two miles from Ferguson
Protesters have clashed with police after an officer shot and killed a man just miles from the fatal shooting of a black man by a white officer earlier this year.
Missouri teenager Antonio Martin has been shot dead by police at a petrol station in St Louis, Missouri.
The 18-year-old, identified by his mother Toni Martin, was shot in a Mobil gas station forecourt at around 1am local time on Christmas Eve in the suburb of Berkeley after reportedly pulling a gun on an officer.
A crowd of about 100 people gathered at the scene of the latest police shooting in Berkeley, Missouri, close to the town of Ferguson where 18-year-old Michael Brown died in August.
A statement from St Louis County police spokesman Sgt Brian Schellman said a Berkeley police officer was conducting a routine business check at a petrol station at around 11.15pm last night when he saw two men and approached them.
One of the men pulled a handgun and pointed it at the officer, Mr Schellman said. The officer fired several shots, striking and fatally wounding the man.
The second man fled, and the dead man's handgun has been recovered.
The St Louis County Police Department is handling the investigation, and no further details about the incident are yet available.
Authorities did not immediately identify the man who was shot, but the St Louis Post-Dispatch reported he was black teenager Antonio Martin. A woman pictured at the scene in tears was named by the paper as Toni Martin, the mother of the 18-year-old.
She told the newspaper that her son was with his girlfriend at the time of the shooting, who had remained at the scene.
The protesters who gathered in the aftermath of the shooting yelled at officers, and pictures appeared to show some being wrestled to the ground and handcuffed.
Authorities from multiple agencies, some in riot gear, stood among the protesters and it is understood that pepper spray was fired in a bid to disperse the crowd.
Across the street, another petrol station's glass doors were shattered and police closed it off.
Orlando Brown, 36, of nearby St Charles, was among the protesters. He said he did not have all the details about the shooting but said he wondered if it was a case of police aggression.
"I understand police officers have a job and have an obligation to go home to their families at the end of the night," he said. "But do you have to treat every situation with lethal force? It's not a racial issue, or black or white. It's wrong or right."
Mr Brown said he was pepper-sprayed during the protest as police tried to separate him from a friend whose hand he was holding. He said his friend was arrested for failing to disperse.
Neither Mr Schellman nor Berkeley police could immediately confirm whether pepper spray was used or that arrests were made.
Michael Brown's death in Ferguson led to weeks of protests and some looting in the St Louis area, actions that were renewed last month when a grand jury chose not to indict the officer who shot him.
CORRECTION: An earlier version had referred to tweets and testimony from Jesus Christo, who falsely claimed to be Martin's best friend.
Source Independent additional reporting PA
Belfast Telegraph Digital