ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – (UPDATED 6:06 p.m.) A man who was with Anthony Lamar Smith on the day he was killed by then-St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley says he believes Smith was unarmed.
Stockley’s first-degree murder trial began Tuesday. The white former officer is accused of fatally shooting Smith, who was black, in December 2011.
Stockley and his partner witnessed what they thought was a drug transaction outside a fast-food restaurant. Smith sped away, prompting a chase. After the chase, Stockley shot Smith five times.
Stockley’s lawyers contend he gave Smith 15 seconds to show his hands, but instead Smith reached for a gun.
Prosecutors say Stockley planted a gun in Smith’s car after shooting him. Stockley’s attorney said in an opening statement that Smith had a gun in the car, and Stockley shot him in self-defense.
But Smith’s longtime friend, Kirkwin Taylor, testified that he rode with Smith to the restaurant. He said he didn’t see a gun, and didn’t believe Smith had one in the car.
KMOX’s Kevin Killeen reports Wednesday afternoon that the first officer on the scene after Stockley shot Smith testified that he looked in Smith’s car, and did not see a gun.
There was also discussion Wednesday of how Stockley went back and forth from the suspect’s car to his own — a procedural violation.