Sat, Jun 03, 2017 - Page 7 News List

Video backs officer’s story in teen shooting: police

AP, LOS ANGELES

Surveillance video corroborates an off-duty federal law enforcement officer’s account that he was being robbed when he killed a 15-year-old boy and wounded another teen last week, police authorities said on Thursday.

In addition, a lawyer’s claim that the boy was executed is a “complete fabrication,” Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Lieutenant John Corina said.

The video, which has not been released, shows three teens, ages 14 and 15, following the officer on Friday night last week as he exited a light-rail train in suburban Arcadia, Corina said.

The officer was wearing headphones and listening to music when the teens came up behind him and hit him in the head at least three times, he said.

One of the teens, Darius Smith, pointed a BB gun at the officer’s face demanding money, he said.

The officer pulled out his service weapons and fired seven times, striking Smith and one of the other boys, he said.

Smith was shot four times — twice in the chest and twice in the buttocks — then ran from the scene, collapsed about two blocks away and died several hours later, he said.

The other boy collapsed after being shot and the officer held him at gunpoint until police arrived, Corina said, adding that the third teen ran off and was arrested several hours later.

Smith family attorney Lee Merritt said at a protest on Monday that the teen was “executed” as the officer stood over him.

“He was not in the midst of a robbery. He was shot twice in the legs first. He fell and his shooter got over him and shot him three times in the chest,” Merritt said.

Merritt did not immediately respond to a message seeking further comment.

Corina said investigators also have statements from witnesses that indicate Smith ran off during the shooting and collapsed while the officer remained at the scene.

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