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Autopsy Report: Armed Suspect Killed by Officers in St. Louis This Week Died of Single Gunshot in the Back

August 21, 2015  | 

Mansur Ball-Bey, who was killed by St. Louis police during a raid upon an aunt's residence on Aug. 19, 2015. His family belonged to Moorish Science Temple of America. Members wear a hat called a fez, and many include Bey or El in their last names. (Photo: Supplied by Family to St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
Mansur Ball-Bey, who was killed by St. Louis police during a raid upon an aunt's residence on Aug. 19, 2015. His family belonged to Moorish Science Temple of America. Members wear a hat called a fez, and many include Bey or El in their last names. (Photo: Supplied by Family to St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

An autopsy on Mansur Ball-Bey, whose death from police gunfire in St. Louis this week stirred protests, showed that he died from a single wound in the back, police officials said.

Chief Sam Dotson said the wound's location neither proves nor disproves the contention of officers at the scene that Ball-Bey refused to drop a gun and pointed it at them before being shot Wednesday.

An investigation of the particulars continues, Dotson said.

"Just because he was shot in the back doesn't mean he was running away," Dotson said. "It could be, and I'm not saying that it doesn't mean that. I just don't know yet.

David Klinger, a University of Missouri-St. Louis criminologist who has studied hundreds of officer-involved shootings, said, "The issue isn't where the round hits, it's what the perceived threat was at the time the officer fired."

He added, "If it was reasonable for these officers to believe he was a threat, then shots in the back mean nothing. If it's unreasonable, then he shouldn't have been shot, but we don't know without knowing all the information."

Klinger told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the Supreme Court has ruled it constitutional for police to shoot someone in the back if they believe that person could be a threat.

"If he takes off running after pointing a gun at them, then that is someone a reasonable officer could believe will be a continuing threat," he said.


Comments (7)

Displaying 1 - 7 of 7

kevCopAz @ 8/22/2015 10:09 AM

I agree with the comments in the article. Lets get the whole facts before judging. We know they had guns inside the residence and that he had a stolen gun. The placement of the wound could be due to various factors as we know. I hope folks allow the time for the investigation to be conducted but with recent history there I doubt it, beside with recent history and anti police folks facts really never matter anyway.

Jon Retired LEO @ 8/22/2015 2:32 PM

True, we need to wait until the investigation is completed.

bill @ 8/23/2015 12:46 AM

Good work taking another armed suspect off the streets for good.

bill @ 8/23/2015 12:47 AM

Good work taking another armed suspect off the streets for good.

Rick @ 8/24/2015 7:25 AM

Hmmm, Moorish Science Temple of America means he's islamic. It's interesting that there is another islamic attack on law enforcement and the part about him being islamic is being left out.

S.S. @ 8/24/2015 8:42 AM

My thoughts exactly.

Bob peterson @ 9/10/2015 6:28 PM

Why do young black males point guns at police. Do they think police are going to run? Parents, teach your kids not to point guns at police. Children, don't point guns at police. Do you understand? Point a gun, get a bullet, lose your life. Police are doing what they are trained to do. Point a gun at me, I will shoot you. Break into my home, I will shoot you. Police are doing their job. Police Officers,
Don't hesitate. Go home each shift. Every person who points a gun at a police officer needs to be shot. Shoot straight, don't hesitate. God bless the police.

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