A lawyer representing the St. Louis-area police officer who shot and killed Antonio Martin late Tuesday night suggested that his client may have been the victim of an ambush gone wrong. He believes that the entire encounter -- beginning with the officers being called over a minor theft, the altercation with Martin and his friend, and the subsequent shooting -- may have been part of a set-up.
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, attorney Brian Millikan indicated that the officer in question noticed suspicious behavior on the part of Martin and the person who was with him just before the shooting occurred. Both allegedly kept “wandering away” despite what the cops told them to do, and shortly after the dialogue began, Martin allegedly pulled out his firearm.
Speaking with reporters, St. Louis police chief Jon Belmar indicated that Martin “produced a pistol with his arm straight out, pointing it straight at the officer kind of from across the hood.” That is when the police officer apparently drew his own weapon and fired three shots – one of which struck Martin.
Millikan echoed this account.
"The other guy was doing the talking, and as the cop starts talking, the suspect starts walking away again," he said. "At that point, the cop says, 'Hey, come back here,' and he turns around, pulls a gun from his left pant pocket."
That is when the officer reportedly started backpedaling and firing at Martin.
“He doesn't understand why the suspect's gun didn't fire,” Millikan said. “I'm not sure if he tried to pull the trigger and it jammed."
Millikan says that it is very possible his client was simply being set up for an ambush. Between the 911 call regarding something being stolen at the local store and the suspects’ behavior throughout, he believes the notion should at least be entertained.
"Their behavior is certainly bizarre, and it wouldn't surprise me at all, in the environment we are in, that's for sure," he said.