Two St. Louis police officers who shot and killed a black 18-year-old last year will not face charges, a prosecutor announced Thursday.
Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce said in a statement that the two officers who killed Mansur Ball-Bey on Aug. 19 will not be charged because “there is insufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt” that they didn’t shoot in self-defense.
Joyce went on to call the shooting “a tragedy in every aspect of the word.”
“I’m sorry for the pain that the Ball-Bey family is experiencing right now,” she added.
The shooting happened when the two white officers — identified in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch as Kyle Chandler and Ronald Vaughn — arrived at a two-family flat to serve a search warrant for drugs and firearms.
While the officers were there, they and an unnamed witness saw Ball-Bey run outside with a gun, according to Joyce’s statement. The officers reported that they saw Ball-Bey point the gun at them and in response opened fire.
Ball-Bey died at the scene and protests ensued in the surrounding neighborhood.
According to Joyce, the case was complicated because there was no “credible witness we can put in front of a grand jury or regular jury who contradicts police statements.”
“None of the other witnesses had a clear view at the moment when Ball-Bey was shot,” she added.
Despite the decision not to charge the officers, Joyce’s review found that “there were several factors in the execution of this search warrant that we believe need to be reviewed and addressed.”
Her report also states that the lack of charges “should not be viewed as an endorsement of the actions surrounding the incident that led to the shooting of Mr. Ball-Bey.”
The shooting happened just over a year after Officer Darren Wilson in nearby Ferguson, Missouri, shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown, prompting weeks of unrest and igniting the Black Lives Matter movement.