O’Fallon, Mo. (KMOV.comCharles County Sheriff’s Department has released a video showing a deep breakdown after a young man was shot and killed in O’Fallon, MO.
Police said officers approached a car around 11 a.m. on January 23 after receiving a call that two 17-year-olds sleeping inside their silver car at 500 Prentice Drive in Ovalon, Missouri, were blocking a resident’s driveway. After sending them home, the police asked the driver to open the doors but they refused. Police said an officer saw a pistol inside the car. The body camera caught the officer smashing the driver’s side window with his pistol before the driver accelerated.
A video clip filmed the officers firing several shots at the silver car. Police said the wrecked car was found near Mexico Road and Aspen Point Drive.
Graphical Warning: This video may be annoying to some
The 17-year-old driver was shot and later pronounced dead in a hospital in the area. None of the officers was injured in the accident.
A passenger in the car was arrested. Police said the driver’s gun and vehicle were stolen from St. Louis County.
The two officers were administratively appointed after the incident until the investigation ended, which is part of department policy.
Charles County District Attorney Tim Lohmar held a news conference today to explain his office’s decision not to press charges against the two officers in this incident.
“I can tell that what I saw in the video and what anyone who probably saw the video with me would say is upsetting. I don’t like what I saw. Knowing the results of course makes it all the more tragic,” said St. Charles County District Attorney Tim LeMarr. I’ve never been a police officer before, although I work closely with them. I know that in many circumstances, and this is a prime example, they have a split second to decide what to do next.”
In this case, he says, the officers were justified in using force because they had a reasonable belief that they were in danger if they did not take action.
“We believe the shooting was actually justified,” Lohmar said. “Officers had the legal right to use lethal force, and it is unfortunate that lethal force resulted in the death of a young man.”
L: Omar says he knows people will be skeptical of the contents of the video, but he also says it’s important that not everything officers are currently experiencing during an incident like this are easily known through body cameras.
“They don’t have time to assess and step back, and consider their options. I hope he takes over training them, and we hope that happens,” he said.
This is the first serious incident video released by the St. Charles County Police Department. Lohmar says the public can expect similar videos in the future, whenever an incident like this occurs.
“It creates open communication and a feeling among the community mostly that they are not trying to hide anything. They are trying to show you what they looked like and what their officers were doing when they made the decision they made.”
Charles County Sheriff’s Department tells News 4 that their department is currently developing a policy on how to release critical incident videos going forward.
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