That 18-year-old Brandon Jones was wrong when he broke into Parkwood Grocery in Cleveland last week is undeniable.
However, his family is questioning the teen’s death after a responding police officer fatally shot him.
“If he’s unarmed, and there’s two of you all and one of him, why is my baby dead?" Jones’ mother, Tanya Brown, asked, according to Cleveland.com.
On Thursday, Jones broke into the grocery store at around 2 a.m. by prying open the metal cage with a crowbar and kicking down the front door, an employee said. He was looking for cigarettes but also took some Canadian coins. He attempted to take the cash register but dropped it.
As Jones was trying to escape, he was confronted by two police officers who attempted to arrest him. There was a struggle and one officer fired a shot, hitting Jones at close range, the news site notes. Later that Thursday morning, Jones died from the gunshot wound.
According to Cleveland.com, it was the third time Jones had been shot in the past two years.
The teen reportedly had his own struggles in life, including a learning disability. His family also struggled financially.
“When you grow up without things, you go get things,” Jones’ cousin Oriel Taylor said, according to the site. “But cigarettes and candy aren’t enough to get killed over.” Jones’ mother acknowledged that he got involved “with the wrong crowd” around the time he turned 16.
Still, the family wonders.
“Why couldn’t you have just tasered him?” an aunt demanded.
The Cleveland Police Department has not released the names of the officers who responded in Jones’ case, but noted that the pair have been placed on a mandatory three days’ administrative leave after use of deadly force.
Read more at Cleveland.com.