The family of 17-year-old Kwame “KK” Jones is seeking answers following the teen’s murder in a police-involved shooting. According to a report from First Coast News, the incident took place on Sunday evening at 9:20 p.m. The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office claims that one of its’ officers attempted to pull over a car that was traveling in the wrong direction down Moncrief Road. Reports claim that the car, which contained two males, did not stop. Instead, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said that the vehicle crashed into another car before slamming into a pedestrian bridge.
Police said that an officer named N.E. Lawson approached the suspects’ car and “an exchange” ensued. Lawson then fired his weapon several times, striking both suspects. Reports claim that both of the men are in their early 20s. They were taken to the hospital where one died and the other remains in critical condition. The names of the suspects were not revealed. However, the family claims that one of the victims, Kwame “KK” Jones, was not in his early 20s – he was a 17-year-old minor.
A self-identified relative of the teen who requested anonymity emailed NewsOne and wrote in part that the family is demanding answers from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office as reports on the incident apparently have misinformation.
The email said the family has yet to receive official notification from authorities, nor have they had the opportunity to officially identify the teenager. As of Thursday, it has been four days since the incident took place. The email said that the teen’s mother’s attempt to obtain information from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office regarding her son’s death has been unsuccessful. She has been “turned away being told that no information can be released because an investigation is taking place,” the e-mail said before adding that “what has been reported in the media and what is known in reality are seeming to be two very different things.”
The relative added, “The simple fact that a 17 year old boy has been murdered and his own mother hasn’t even been notified is enough to want to raise some awareness and make some noise!”
The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office has reportedly claimed a rifle was found in the back seat of the car, which the family member deems suspicious as the photo provided is “of a gun that has already been booked into evidence and not a photo from the scene.”
It was not clear who was driving at the time.
According to Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Chief of Investigations T.K. Waters, Lawson has been with the police force for less than two years. He was wearing a body camera during the incident and has been placed on leave pending the investigation.
A witness working at a gas station near where the shooting took place shared his account with News4Jax, saying, “I saw the police chasing the car. The car hit a car coming off of 45th. It … hit the beam. The police came up, jumped out his car and gave some kind of command. I really couldn’t hear it, but after that there, he just went to shooting.”
The family says they reached out to attorney Benjamin Crump to obtain legal aid in the case, in hopes of seeking justice and calling out the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office for what the mail said was “all that they have done wrong” with handling the case.