Tempe police body cam footage shows officer fatally shooting fleeing teen
PHOENIX – Intense police body camera footage released Friday showed a 14-year-old burglary suspect running away when he was fatally shot by a Tempe officer Tuesday.
The officer, identified by the Tempe Police Department only as Officer Jaen, can be heard yelling “let me see your hands” before firing twice at the teenage boy, who kept running down an alley and around the corner.
While continuing his pursuit, Jaen can be heard radioing in that shots were fired and the suspect had a gun.
Jaen slows down as he rounds the corner, and the footage ends before he encounters the suspect, who police said was found lying on a sidewalk.
The suspect, who Chief Sylvia Moir said can’t be identified by name because of his age, died after being transported to a hospital.
An airsoft replica 1911 model handgun was found at the scene. Police believe the suspect stole it from a truck.
It was a 911 call about a suspicious truck parked in an alley behind a home off 48th Street between Southern Avenue and Baseline Road that set off the events.
The body cam footage, along with 911 and police radio audio and photos of the scene and weapon, was released after Moir held a press conference to discuss the shooting.
The gun in the photos resembles a real weapon but has an orange tip. Airsoft guns fire pellets that are usually plastic.
Moir said that after responding to the call, Jaen, a former National Guard member who did a tour in Iraq, saw the suspect holding the gun in the truck.
The boy fled after apparently seeing the officer, who is seen on the video firing the shots about five seconds after starting his chase.
Moir said the suspect was hit once in the shoulder blade.
She didn’t say why Jaen fired his weapon and didn’t take questions during the press conference.
When the shooting first happened, a Tempe police spokesman said the suspect turned toward the officer, which the officer perceived as a threat.
But there’s no sign of the fleeing boy turning back in the video.
LIVE: Tempe police are holding a press conference after an officer shot and killed a 14-year-old boy on Tuesday afternoon who was reportedly holding a replica airsoft gun and seen burglarizing a vehicle. STORY: https://bit.ly/2FLcKa6
Posted by ABC15 Arizona on Friday, January 18, 2019
“I stand before you to be fully transparent, responsive and honest about this very tragic event,” Moir said after giving condolences to the boy’s family.
She said Jaen, a 17-year police veteran who has been on the Tempe force for 14 years, is on leave during the investigation.