WASHINGTON — A black motorcyclist who was shot by a District of Columbia police officer died of gunshot wounds to the neck and back, according to the city’s chief medical examiner.
A spokeswoman for the medical examiner’s office, LaShon Beamon, confirmed the cause of death for Terrence Sterling on Wednesday and said the manner of death was homicide. Beamon did not specify how many times Sterling was shot; the office is barred by law from releasing autopsy information beyond the cause and manner of death.
The death of Sterling, a 31-year-old resident of Fort Washington, Maryland, has prompted protests from people who knew him and activists with the Black Lives Matter movement who say the shooting was unjustified.
According to police, Sterling was shot after he intentionally rammed the passenger-side door of a police car with his motorcycle while trying to flee a traffic stop.
The shooting occurred at a downtown Washington intersection in the early-morning hours of Sept. 11. The officer who shot him — Brian Trainer, 27, a four-year veteran of the department — did not turn on his body-worn camera until after the shooting, according to police, who did not disclose the race of the officer.
On Tuesday, police released video of the aftermath of the shooting, which shows Trainer assisting another officer who performs CPR on Sterling, who is bleeding heavily onto the sidewalk from what appears to be a wound to the neck.
The shooting is being investigated by the U.S. Attorney’s office and the police department.
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