Terrence Sterling Was Shot in Back, Neck, Medical Examiner Says

The motorcyclist killed this month by a D.C. police officer suffered gunshot wounds to the back and neck, the D.C. medical examiner said Wednesday afternoon.

Terrence Sterling, 31, died of the wounds in what the D.C. Office of the Chief Medical Examiner determined to be a homicide. That manner of death rules out that Sterling died because of suicide, an accident or natural causes.

Information was not available immediately on whether Sterling was shot more than once or if a single bullet caused his injuries.

Sterling, of Fort Washington, Maryland, died Sept. 11 after a Metropolitan Police Department officer shot him at 3rd and M streets NW. Police say the officer fired after Sterling intentionally rammed a police cruiser with his motorcycle.

Witnesses disputed the police department's account of the incident and said the crash was unavoidable.

D.C. officials released body camera footage on Tuesday that shows the moments after Officer Brian Trainer shot and killed Sterling. The graphic video shows the man bleeding as an officer performs CPR.

Police said the encounter began when an officer saw a motorcyclist driving recklessly about 4:20 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 11 near 15th and U streets NW.

A few minutes later, Trainer saw a motorcycle near 3rd and M streets NW that matched the same description, police said.

As Trainer exited a police cruiser on the passenger side, intending to stop the driver, Sterling intentionally drove into the passenger door, police said.

Trainer then fired, hitting Sterling.

Two ambulances were dispatched at 4:30 a.m., city officials said. One ambulance left a fire station a block away and arrived moments later, officials said. The second ambulance arrived about 5 minutes after dispatch.

Sterling was taken to Howard University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Trainer was not seriously hurt. He was placed on administrative leave, per department policy.

Police said in subsequent days that Trainer did not turn on his body camera until after he fired.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said 911 dispatchers now will remind officers to turn on their body cameras before they arrive at scenes.

The investigation continues, Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice Kevin Donahue said.

Stay with News4 and NBCWashington as we continue to update this developing story.

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