There’s been a new development in the case of a 2011 police shooting out of St. Louis. One of the officers involved in the shooting, Jason Stockley, has been charged with 1st degree murder.
According to reports, Stockley, and his partner Brian Bianchi, attempted to arrest a drug suspect, Lamar Smith. The police and Smith were involved in a pursuit that ended in a car crash. Stockley then shot Smith. Bianchi hasn’t been charged with any crime and is still on the force.
Stockley, who left the police force in 2013, claims that the shooting was in self-defense. However, some people disagree with that claim. Stockley claims he opened fire when he saw Smith reach for a .38 revolver. However, court documents state that, when the weapon was tested, only Stockley’s DNA was found on the weapon. Stockley admits to handling the gun after the shooting, but claims he only unloaded as a safety precaution.
Court documents also reveal that Stockley had talked about killing Smith during the pursuit and characterized his statement as him saying “Going to kill this (expletive), don’t you know it.”
The video obtained by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch show that the officers cornered Smith in the parking lot, but Smith managed to escape, nearly running Stockley over in the process. One odd thing about the video is that it shows Stockley holding an AK-47 which he did personally own, but was not authorized to use on the job. As Smith pulls away, Stockley fires several shots him his service pistol before he and Bianchi give chase in the police vehicle.
During the chase, Stockley can be heard giving directions and talking to his partner. Some parts of the audio are unclear, but Stockley can be heard saying something about shooting Smith.
After catching up to Smith, Stockley’s partner rams Smith’s car, crashing it into a tree and causing the airbags to deploy. Both officers approach the vehicle and later on we can see Stockley firing five shots. Once again, Stockley has claimed that Smith was reaching for the pistol. His partner does admit that he saw a pistol and warned Stockley about it. However, some dispute Stockley’s story and say that he planted the weapon.
Stockley’s trial is set for October 3rd.
The video can be seen below:
Featured image via screengrab from video.