ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Gina Torres says her son “wouldn’t shoot nobody,” and she still can’t believe the official police version of his death during a raid earlier this summer in south St. Louis.
Torres and other demonstrators sat on the stone wall outside the circuit courthouse in downtown St. Louis, wearing matching T-shirts showing her son, 21-year-old Isaiah Hammett.
Hammett died when a police SWAT unit executing a search warrant for guns entered the home he shared with his grandfather in the 5400 block of South Kingshighway on June 7.
According to the police account, SWAT members opened fire on Hammett after he fired at them first with an AK-47 rifle.
But Torres says the AK-47 her son owned was broken and in a box to be sent to a repair shop, and she claims he was unarmed, helping lift his disabled grandfather from bed to take cover during the raid.
“It really raises questions,” Torres said. “How do you have an AK-47 in your hands and go in to lift your 200-pound grandfather to save his life?”
Torres also disputes the official police version that the SWAT unit announced its presence and then entered the house with a “flash bang.”
She claims there was no evidence of a flash bang having been set off in the house, but there were bullet holes in the walls — by her count, more than 120.
Torres says her son had a “heart of gold” and divided his time between taking care of his grandfather and playing video games.
At the time of the raid, Hammett was on probation for a misdemeanor case of marijuana possession.
Police say they seized “a quantity of marijuana,” and more than a dozen guns in the raid.
The case remains under review by the police department’s Force Investigation Unit. The circuit attorney’s office also investigates deadly police shootings, usually after police have completed their probe.
There’s no timetable on when the investigations could be complete.
Torres says she has hired a lawyer and is hoping to get some answers.