Police shoot, kill teen with pellet gun www.privateofficer.com
Officers shoot, kill teen with pellet gun http://www.privateofficer.com
Police responding to a call of a person with a gun outside an apartment complex shot and killed a teenager who was holding a pellet gun. While officers day that they had no way of knowing that the gun was not real, family, friends and some living at the complex say that they could tell the difference.
Rafael Christian moved with his family from Cincinnati about five months ago to escape violence that had claimed his friends’ lives, his family said. He died Wednesday evening from police gunfire.
The 16-year-old was fatally shot by Marietta police when they arrived at the apartments and found two suspicious people, one holding a weapon. The weapon turned out to be a pellet gun that resembled a semi-automatic handgun, police said.
“They ended a life,” said Anita Dixon, Christian’s aunt.
Christian and four friends were hanging out at the Bentley Manor apartment complex on Bentley Road about 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. He was showing his friends the air-powered pellet gun he had recently bought.
Marietta police, meanwhile, responded to a report of someone with a gun, police said.
“Nobody knew the police were coming,” one of Christian’s friends, Kenny Drake, said. “All they said was, ‘Freeze!’ One told me, ‘You move, I shoot.’”
Two of the teens tried to flee, but Dwayne Conley, 14, said he stopped when an officer drew a gun on him.
Christian continued to run for another 20 yards, went around the corner of a nearby building and was shot by two officers, Drake said.
Police said the officers on the scene believed Christian’s pellet gun to be a Beretta .22 caliber semi-automatic pistol. “It looks like your standard automatic weapon,” police spokesman Mark Bishop said.
Someone who had seen the boys with the weapon thought it was a real handgun. We didn’t just come in guns blazing an officer said. Despite what family members may think.
“He told the police, ‘Don’t shoot. It’s a fake gun,’” said Caliph Hudson, who watched the incident from his apartment window. authorities are questioning that as the investigation continues.
Phillips called Atlanta activist Markel Hutchins on Thursday to help her sort out the situation. Hutchins, who is running this fall to unseat U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-Atlanta), said he met with Marietta police Chief Dan Flynn and noted some discrepancies in the police story and the teens’ account of what happened.
“I’m going to ask for a higher degree of authority to look into this,” Hutchins said. “I’m going to ask the Georgia Bureau of Investigations to get involved.”
Asked why he ran, Drake said that was a natural reaction for young black males approached by seemingly hostile police. “That’s the first instinct for anybody when you see police with guns,” Drake said.
Airsoft and pellet guns are being a real problem for law enforcement officers said Kenny Wentworth, a 22 year veteran of an area police department. When officers roll up and see someone holding what looks like a gun, there’s not a whole lot of time to ask, is that real?
Authorities also that that the weapon in question, an airsoft pistol comes with an orange safety tip on it, but that it had been removed to make the gun appear real.
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