A 13-year-old boy has died after he was shot in the head by police in what they describe as an attempt to stop a home invasion in progress. Although no one can condone a crime, if that is indeed what is happening here, the death of a boy who was too young to even drive does raise questions about whether police could have tried a different tactic first.
Indeed, the woman whose house was apparently the subject of the burglary told a reporter that she would rather have had everything stolen from her than have "someone's child laying back there dead."
The Jonseboro teen was shot when Clayton County authorities responded to a reported burglary at a home on Bonanza Church Road. When officers arrived, they reported seeing several suspects leave the residence. They say they "attempted to make contact" and then noticed that the 13-year-old was holding what seemed to be a gun, so they shot him.
An interesting footnote is that an 18-year-old man who is also believed to have been involved in the burglary might now be faced with a murder charge, even though he did nothing against the 13-year-old, because he participated in a crime that led to the teen's death.
As we have said before on this blog, we have to respect law enforcement officers. But second-guessing what seems to have been a drastic decision does not amount to disrespect. Violence in any form, be it someone committing a crime against someone else or a police officer shooting a suspect, is truly deplorable.
We can only imagine what this 13-year-old's family is going through now.
Source: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "13-year-old shot by police dies," Alexis Stevens, June 28, 2012
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