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Government, Politics & Issues

St. Louis County medical examiner: Amonderez Green committed suicide

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Updated 5 p.m., Nov. 24, with medical examiner findings -- An official autopsy report on the death of Amonderez Green, 18, in Normandy last month concludes that he died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

Green had allegedly fired his gun at Normandy police officers, one of whom returned fire.

The incident began when Green's relatives asked police for help because they thought he might be suicidal. Green allegedly got into a confrontation with police, which resulted in an officer deploying his Taser.
Some of Green's relatives have publicly questioned the police version of events and claimed Green would not have killed himself. The St. Louis County Medical Examiner's report released Tuesday finds that the only wound on Green's body was self-inflicted.  
Updated 4:30 p.m. Nov. 19 with videos -- St. Louis County Police have released video footage from an incident in which police say a young man committed suicide after shooting at police.

Amonderez Green, 18, died Oct. 29 from what police say was a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He had allegedly fired his gun at officers with the Normandy Police Department, one of whom returned fire.

The incident began when Green's family requested help from the Ferguson police department because he was suicidal and not communicating with family members who had spotted him walking in the area, on the western edge of Norwood Hills Country Club. Normandy police later joined in the efforts to communicate with Green.

The footage is from the Ferguson officers who responded. One clip shows an officer trying to make contact with Green as he walks along Bermuda Road near the local elementary school.

The second shows the immediate aftermath of Green’s shooting, but does not show the moments leading up to it. The officer wearing the camera later gives his last name as O'Connor.  Please note that this video contains some strong language.

The Normandy Police Department does not have body cameras. 

Our original story

St. Louis County police say new evidence shows the gunshot wound that killed a young man in Normandy was self-inflicted.

Cpl. Tameika Sanders with the Normandy police department said one of the department's officers fired at 18-year old Amonderez P. Green on Wednesday afternoon after he allegedly fired at two officers who were trying to talk to him. He was pronounced dead early Thursday morning of what police are calling a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

St. Louis County Police say the incident began when the Green's family requested help from the Ferguson police department  because he was suicidal and not communicating with family members who had spotted him walking in the area, on the western edge of Norwood Hills Country Club. Normandy police later joined in the efforts to communicate with Green, police say.

Green allegedly got into a confrontation in a yard at the 7700 block of Ellington, near the corner of Bermuda Drive. A Normandy police officer deployed his Taser when Green allegedly began firing shots at the officers present, then drew his firearm when the Taser had no effect and shot at Green three times.

Green allegedly ran from the officers, firing additional shots as they chased him through backyards. They lost sight of him as he rounded the corner into the front yard, when police officers said they heard a single shot and later found Green suffering from a gunshot wound under the chin. A revolver allegedly recovered on scene belonged to someone close to the family. Four rounds had been fired, and police said three residences along the path of the chase were struck by gunfire. Only one projectile was recovered, which was a match to the revolver.

"The single Normandy Police Officer was the only officer on scene that fired his weapon during the incident," the statement said. "None of the Normandy Officer's rounds struck the suspect. The assessment at the hospital by emergency room personnel indicate the suspect's only wound was the self-inflicted one. It was a contact wound located under the suspect's chin." They said the gun belonged to a family friend.

Cpl. Sanders said the Normandy officers who responded had received crisis intervention training. 

"This is a situation where we go into any type of critical incident where it is believed a person may or may not be armed, and the person is volatile, the officer always wants to have a less-than-lethal point of control in order to gain the most effective and non-violent resolution to that situation," Sanders said.

In its own statement, the Ferguson police department acknowledged that its officers were on scene, and helped render first aid, but said they did not fire any weapons. 

CAUTION - the video below contains potentially disturbing content. Viewer discretion is advised.

Individuals claiming to have witnessed the incident fiercely disputed the official account. In a video, a woman can be heard yelling, “don’t kill my son” before a single gunshot is heard. The video does not show who fired the gun.

In another video clip, a man identified as Green's father, Jermell Simpson, said it was Ferguson police officers who shot his son. "I even told Ferguson that we had everything under control," he says in the video.

Activists at Sanders' press conference pressed her about discrepancies between her account and those provided by alleged eyewitnesses. She did not answer the question, instead asking anyone with information to contact St. Louis County police.

If you are experiencing a crisis or having thoughts of suicide call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Additional resources are also available here

Follow Rachel Lippmann on Twitter: @rlippmann 

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