Family of Man Shot to Death By St. Louis Police Say Cops Lied
"I could believe him running from the police because he had tickets and he was tired of police harassing him," says Stacie Hill, Averyhart's mother. "But shoot at the police? My son may have done some things wrong like evading police for tickets and a little weed, but that's just not who he was."
As for the gun, Averyhart's cousin, Precious Hill, says he sometimes carried a gun because he worked as a mechanic and had been a robbery victim in the past.
"He carried a gun to protect himself when he was working. That's it," she says. "And if he did have one on him, he would have thrown it when he was running."
In fact, Averyhart's mechanic work is another reason why they don't believe he would do something so stupid as pointing a gun at police: He had been working over the past year to get his mechanic business going and had been saving up money to rent a permanent location to work from.
"What kind of person who does that goes around shooting at police?" Precious Hill says.
On his Facebook page, Averyhart posted an ad that advertises his services:
His mother says he had a passion for cars, but he would often get pulled over for an array of reasons. That passion, she says, led to his death.
"Cars were his first love. I mean, he just loved cars, so he drove fast and he would get tickets," Stacie Hill explains. "He also got tickets for playing music too loud, and because he drove an 'old school.' Whenever police see an old-school car, they think you're doing something wrong. He was always getting harassed by the police."
She added: "His downfall was he was always driving fast. That's what he did."
Averyhart's rap sheet didn't have a single violent crime, but he did have several unpaid traffic tickets and driving with a suspended license, some of which turned into warrants. He also had that under 35 grams of marijuana misdemeanor charge mentioned previously, for which he had to serve 60 days in jail.
But according to Averyhart's mother, he had been working to pay off the outstanding fines. At one point, she says, he had fines in 21 different places, but recently got that down to 4.
"That shows he was working on them," she says, adding that he was late on payments when mechanical work was slow.
Stacie Hill and other family and friends of Averyhart believe he was tired of getting tickets, so he ran. It might not have been the right decision, they say, but he didn't deserve to get killed for it.
"I'm not the type to hold up my son when he does wrong, or try to say my son was such a great, great person. But my son was a good person," says Stacie Hill.
She adds: "If he was a thug and out there killing people and selling dope and robbing people, then I would say he got what he was looking for because that was the situation he put himself in. But he wasn't. My son didn't point a gun at the police."
Averyhart's family says they want answers.
The City of St. Louis Police Department tells us the shooting is still under investigation.
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