The shooting happened within seconds. The police officer draws his gun as he tries to get the suspect’s attention. He sees the male suspect running. He orders him to show his hands, but the latter keeps running. He fires two shots, striking the suspect – who turns out to be a 14-year-old boy carrying a replica handgun.

The confrontation was captured on the police officer’s body camera, the footage from which was released last week by the police department in Tempe, Arizona, amid a growing outcry over the boy’s death. Local activists describe the shooting as the murder of a child, whose mother screamed “Necesito justicia!” (“I need justice”) at a Thursday night rally in front of police headquarters.

Officials, meanwhile, urged the community to withhold judgment while they investigate what Tempe Police Chief Sylvia Moir described as a “rapidly evolving situation.”

“I must begin with expressing my deepest condolences to the young man’s family … I am very sorry for their loss,” Moir said at a news conference Friday. Displayed next to her were several enlarged photographs: the alley where the teen was shot, the gray pickup truck where the police officer found him, the replica handgun authorities say he was carrying.

The shooting happened in the middle of the day Tuesday.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.