Police: Teen Shot And Killed Had Pellet Gun
POSTED: 6:03 am EDT April 18, 2008
UPDATED: 6:36 am EDT April 18, 2008
MARIETTA, Ga. -- A 16-year-old who was shot and killed by Marietta police officers carried a pellet gun that resembled a semiautomatic handgun, investigators said.
Rafael Christian died Wednesday night after being shot by officers who were responding to a report of a suspicious person with a weapon.
His mother, Brandy Phillips, said the family moved with from Cincinnati five months ago to escape violence. Phillips said the shooting doesn't make sense.
"I brought him down here for better college opportunities, and now he's gone," Phillips said.
The teen and four friends were at an apartment complex about 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. He was showing his friends the air-powered pellet gun he had bought.
Police said the officers on the scene believed Christian's pellet gun to be a Beretta .22 caliber semiautomatic pistol. Police spokesman Mark Bishop said the gun looks like a real gun.
Caliph Hudson, a witness who watched the shooting from his apartment window, said the teen told police not to shoot and that the gun was fake
"There has got to be a better way. There has to be better communications between young African-American men and law enforcement," said Rev. Markel Hutchins, a community activist.