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Officer Shoots Teen Who's 'Got a Handgun'—But Didn't

Antonio Arce, 14, was running down an alley
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 19, 2019 11:20 AM CST

(Newser) – An Arizona police officer Tuesday shot dead a 14-year-old boy who was running away carrying an airsoft gun, CNN reports. The Tempe Police Department officer, identified to media only as Jaen, was responding to a suspicious vehicle in an alleyway when he saw the teen step out of a gray Chevy pickup and run for it. The officer cries "Hey" and opens fire as he shouts "Let me see your hands!" The teen, identified by NBC News as Antonio Arce, was struck in the shoulder blade and later pronounced dead. "He's got a handgun, he's got a handgun," Jaen is heard saying in body cam footage, but Arce was actually carrying a replica 1911 airsoft gun that police say was among items the teen had stolen from the truck.

"It was a long distance," says Danny Ortega, an attorney for Arce's family. "How this young man could have presented a threat at that far a distance is a question that needs to be asked." While Ortega says he's "in the process of trying to figure out what happened," the department has placed Jaen on administrative leave during criminal and administrative investigations. The 14-year veteran was a member of the National Guard from 2007 to 2013 and in 2011 served in Iraq. Tempe Police Chief Sylvia Moir offered her "deepest condolences to the young man's family" at a news conference Friday, per KPHO, and said "the loss of his life is tragic." But she asked people to "withhold judgment" until investigations were finished.
(Read more police shooting stories.)

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