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Family has questions after officer shoots, kills man near St. Louis Galleria

"Ask them if they gave my brother a chance, to say 'Stop, put your hands up.'"

CLAYTON, Mo. — A day after a Richmond Heights police officer shot and killed a man near Saint Louis Galleria, the 23-year-old man's family is looking to have their questions answered. 

St. Louis County Police confirmed Terry Tillman, 23, was the man shot and killed in the parking garage of Simmons Bank, which is adjacent to the mall.

It started Saturday afternoon when police said Tillman, with his girlfriend, was inside the mall. Someone had allegedly spotted Tillman carrying a gun, which is not allowed inside the St. Louis Galleria. 

A Richmond Heights officer approached Tillman after seeing a magazine from a gun sticking out of Tillman's waistband. 

After trying to contact him, police said Tillman ran. 

The chase went to the top of the parking lot of Simmons Bank. That's where the officer shot and killed Tillman.

OVERLAND, Mo. - An investigation is underway after a man died in the hospital on Friday after he experienced a medical emergency following his arrest. The man is identified as 39-year-old Willie Sample of St. Ann. The St. Louis County Police Department said in a release that at around 5 p.m.

Police did recover a handgun at the scene. But many details, including the moments leading up to the shooting, remain under investigation. 

"Ask them if they gave my brother a chance, to say 'Stop, put your hands up.'" said Racheal Jones, one of Tillman's sisters. 

She spoke at a vigil, attended by several dozen people, outside the Simmons Bank on Sunday evening. 

Jones said she thinks she knows the answer to one question: why did Tillman run?

"Because he was scared," she said. 

Online records show a 23-year-old named Terry Tillman with a felony charge for stealing, as well as a warrant for his arrest for failing to appear for a court date. The address for this Terry Tillman matches the same block provided by St. Louis County Police for the Terry Tillman shot and killed on Saturday. 

"That man didn't know about a felony when he was chasing my brother," said Jones, referring to the police officer. "He ain't know about his record, so what relevance is that?"

The police officer who shot and killed Tillman hasn't been identified, but he's been on the Richmond Heights Police Department for 23 years and is 50 years old. 

Police are requesting anyone with information about what happened to contact them immediately at 636-529-8210. 

The questions aren't only with what happened leading up to the shooting; some have questions about what happened inside the packed mall on Saturday.

As a police officer chased Tillman, who police said had a gun, some employees inside the mall had no idea what was happening, said Kaitlynn James.

James works for Build-A-Bear Workshop inside the mall.

"Thinking about it more now that I'm not at work, it's a little more scary, actually," she said to 5 On Your Side on Saturday. 

She said the mall didn't tell them. She said she found out there was a shooting afterward, when a relative of another employee called the store to ask if everyone was okay. 

In a statement emailed to 5 On Your Side, a mall spokesperson said the mall "responded swiftly" and "were in communication with our tenants," citing safety as most important for the shopping community. 

The mall never evacuated or locked down. 

"The events unfolded quickly and were no longer on our property, which is why there was not a need to evacuate the shopping center," said Lindsay Kahn, a spokeswoman for Brookfield Properties, which owns Saint Louis Galleria.

Kahn said they have "a robust security program in place," but she could not disclose specifics because it's against company policy. 


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