Every year, nearly 3000 children and teens die from gunfire, and nearly 14,000 are injured.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

15-year old Missouri boy killed by police

Lavon Peete, age 15
15-year old Lavon Peete was in the Glascow Village area of St. Louis, Missouri, visiting his cousin, when he was shot and killed by a St. Louis police officer. 

When the officer arrived to investigate a report of gunshots, he found Lavon with two other boys, and Lavon had a sawed-off shotgun.  After being warned to drop the weapon, but instead turning the gun toward the officer, the boy was shot and killed.

Lavon had prior behavioral problems which put him into a special school program.

From the article and news video:
Police said they heard gunshots, so an officer went to the scene. The officer found three males in a common area behind a vacant home in Glasgow Village that had previously been burglarized. They said one of the teens was holding a sawed-off shotgun.
The officer demanded the teen drop the gun. The teen then pointed the gun at the officer, so the officer fired shots hitting the teen, according to police.
The teen died at the scene.
Police said the officers found shell casings and live ammo in Peete's pockets. They are searching for the two teens that ran away.

Lavon's family is disputing the police story and demanding an investigation.
Fitch said the officer was "clearly upset that he had to take this action" and that Lavon Peete's age "is really weighing on the officer's mind."
"What in the world is a 15-year-old doing in a residential neighborhood with a sawed-off rifle at that time of night?" Fitch asked. "And his family deserves an answer to that."
Lavon Peete was the youngest of five children. Family members said they have a hard time reconciling his personality with the police account.
"He was a very loving, caring little boy and would never hurt anybody," said his sister, Aigner Turman, 19.
Every gun in the hands of a child must first pass through the hands of an adult.

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