An 18-year-old Black teenager is dead after police in Roanoke County, Virginia first Tased him, then fatally shot him on Friday evening.
The teenager, identified as Kionte DeShaun Spencer, was carrying a BB gun at the time of the officer-involved shooting. Spencer, a student at Hidden Valley High School, lived in a group home, WDBJ7 reports.
A 911 caller reported that a Black male wearing a hoodie and a bandana was waving a firearm in the parking lot at about 7:15 p.m. Friday night. Officers who arrived on the scene told the teenager to stop walking northbound on Electric Road, WDBJ7 notes. When he did not comply with their commands, police twice-attempted to stun Spencer with a Taser.
Neither attempt was successful.
The officers then fired at him. The BB gun was still in Spencer’s hand when he was shot. Police say they were not aware the firearm was not real at the time of the shooting.
Spencer was shot twice — once in the hip area and once in the collarbone.
“So you can see in this picture the weapon that our officers saw in the subject’s hand and how it compares to the 9MM pistol,” said Roanoke County Police Chief Howard Hall.
Police say the preliminary investigation shows that officers were following protocol.
“This was a deadly force encounter, despite the fact that we know now that this handgun was an air gun,” said Chief Hall.
Spencer, who was transported within 15 minutes, died at a nearby hospital.
Brenda Hale, president of the NAACP Roanoke chapter, demanded that video of the incident be released by the department, adding that she is “extremely concerned” with how the investigation is being handled.
“We want to get out in front of this so it doesn’t become like other incidents around the country,” she said.
The officers involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave. An investigation continues.
SOURCE: WDBJ7 | VIDEO SOURCE: Inform