An 18-year-old was shot fatally by the Los Angeles Police Department after a foot chase that relatives said ended tragically in front of his home.
The dead teen has been identified as Carnell “C.J.” Snell Jr., a young man neighbors say was into skateboards and his family, according to the Los Angeles Times.
LAPD officers say the incident began when they saw a vehicle with paper plates, which they believed to be stolen. The car did not stop when they pursued, and police report that two male passengers fled on foot in opposite directions. Two officers split up to chase them, CNN reports.
An officer whose name has not been released fatally shot Snell less than two blocks away. Relatives say he was shot outside his home. The driver of the vehicle remains at large, according to authorities.
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Police say that a handgun was recovered at the scene, but the Times reports that many residents in the neighborhood where Snell was shot are dubious about the official account.
The outlet reports that Snells’ mother, Monique Morgan, was visibly distraught as she told reporters that her son was shot five times and that she has not been able to see him.
“My daughter got a phone call,” she said as she wept. “It said that the police shot him,” CNN reports. Morgan says that the LAPD had not given her any information about her son.
“[The police] won’t let me see him,” Morgan told reporters. “They said they moved him already. I want to see him.”
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The Times reports that the victim’s sister Trenell Snell, 17, said that she was outside with friends when she saw her older brother, C.J., running from police. Trenell started running, too, she said. Then she said she heard gunfire—“boom, boom, boom, boom.”
She hit the ground. When she got up, she said, her brother was on the ground, handcuffed. “At the end of the day, the cops came and shot my brother,” she said to the Times. “Killed my brother.”
Protesters took to the streets to express outrage that police are frequently judge, jury and executioner when dealing with black suspects. They protested in front of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s home. Police monitoring the protest initially wore riot gear but removed it later.
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As with any officer-involved shooting, the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office and the LAPD say they plan to review evidence collected during the investigation.