Officials: New York City police fatally shoot armed 14-year-old boy
Rookie New York police officers shot and killed a 14-year-old boy before dawn Sunday as he chased and shot at another young man, authorities said.
Two recent Police Academy graduates heard gunshots around 3 a.m. in the South Bronx, authorities said, and saw 14-year-old Shaaliver Douse chasing another young man and holding a 9-millimeter handgun.
One of the officers told him to drop the gun, identifying himself as a police officer, authorities said.
When Douse refused, police said, one of the officers fired, striking Douse in the lower jaw. He was pronounced dead at the scene, where a 9-millimeter handgun was found. Police photos show the weapon lying on a sidewalk, covered in droplets of what looks like blood.
Surveillance footage released by the NYPD shows a young man dressed in black standing outside a convenience store. He bolts when another young man, wearing jeans and a white T-shirt, begins running toward him.
Douse’s target was behind the two officers involved in the shooting, New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said at a televised news conference Sunday. He said it was unclear whether Douse fired at the officers or at the man he was chasing.
“We have someone armed with a gun shooting at someone who apparently does have a gun,” Kelly said. “The conclusion of that could have been that the young man he was chasing was killed. These officers stopped that from happening.”
Douse’s aunt, Quwana Barcene, told Bronx News 12 that her nephew attended Smith High School and was returning from a New York City Housing Authority-sponsored party nearby when he was shot. She denied that he had a gun.
“He was just a boy, and you know what boys are like,” she told DNAinfo New York. “But the boy don’t smoke, the boy don’t drink, he was not a gang member.”
In May, Douse was arrested on a charge of attempted murder after he was accused of shooting a 15-year-old boy in the shoulder at a Bronx gas station. The Bronx County District Attorney later dropped the charges.
A city official told the New York Times that Douse’s foot pursuit on Sunday could have been linked to the shooting in May. The victim’s gang, the Lyman Place Crew, was warring with Nine, a gang with which authorities said Douse may have been involved.
The two officers involved in Saturday’s shooting, ages 26 and 27, graduated from the Police Academy in July and had been on the streets about a month, police said. They were working for a police program that places rookies in high-crime areas.
The officers, whose identities were not released, were taken to the hospital to be treated for trauma and ringing in their ears, authorities said. No other injuries were reported.
“Do you know how it is to bury your child, before they bury you?” Douse’s aunt told local media, adding that her nephew was an only child. “There needs to be an investigation into what happened here. You get told one thing, another thing, another thing, but no full story.”
An investigation is ongoing, Kelly said.
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