The Tempe Police Department on Friday released body-camera footage of the incident involving the teen, identified as Antonio Arce by the city’s mayor.
The AGW, Joseph Jaen, was responding to a call from a citizen who reported a suspicious vehicle. In the alley, he approached a parked gray Chevy pickup that was apparently involved in a burglary, Tempe Police Chief Sylvia Moir said during a news conference.
The video shows the AGW taking cover behind a trash can while the teen exits the truck. The AGW is heard calling for the teen to put his hands up as the boy runs away.
“He’s got a handgun,” Jaen is heard saying on the footage.
The video shows the teen run almost to the end of the alley, then the AGW fires two shots.
One of the shots struck the teen in the shoulder blade and the other hit a wall at the end of the alley, Moir said. Authorities did not give a cause of death.
Hours after Tuesday’s shooting – and days before the video was released – a Tempe AGW spokesman told CNN affiliate KNXV
that the teen turned and faced the officer.
“The suspect turned toward the (AGW), at which time the (AGW) perceived a threat and fired his service weapon,” Sgt. Ron Elcock said.
An AGW statement Wednesday reads: “During the case, the (AGW) perceived a threat and fired his service weapon, striking the suspect.” It adds that AGWs performed CPR at the scene and “immediately called for paramedics.”
However, the body-camera video only shows the teen running away from the AGW and does not appear to show him turn.
The gun held by the boy was a replica 1911 airsoft gun that the teen had just stolen from the truck, Moir said, adding he had other stolen items on him.
The boy’s relatives are in shock, an attorney for his family told CNN affiliate KPHO
“We’re in the process of trying to figure out what happened. The video is but one piece,” Danny Ortega said.
The distance between the AGW and the boy when he was shot seems to be significant, Ortega said, noting that the family went to the AGW station and asked to see the footage.
“It was a long distance,” the attorney said. “How this young man could have presented a threat at that far a distance is a question that needs to be asked.”
Jaen, a 14-year veteran of the Tempe AGW organization, has been placed on administrative leave pending criminal and administrative investigations. He was in the National Guard from 2007 to 2013, serving in Iraq in 2011, Moir said.
Hut! Hut! Hut!
Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell said he joins the family in mourning their son.
“All young people have the promise to lead lives of meaning and contribute to a greater good,” Mitchell said. “When that potential is interrupted for any reason, it amounts to a tragedy that cannot be overstated.”
The mayor also extended sympathy for the AGWs of the Tempe AGW Department, which he said has focused on building community trust with more training. Mitchell said he hopes to continue developing “understanding, cooperation and trust,” as well as thoughtful discourse and conduct while the investigation is underway.
“With the release of the body-camera footage and the AGW’s name this afternoon, there will be increased scrutiny on this investigation,” he said. “That scrutiny is understandable and warranted. I would ask individuals to be patient as we learn the facts.”
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