November 23, 2020

Texas police kill 8th-grader carrying pellet gun

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A Brownsville police officer walks behind the shattered glass of the front door at Cummings Middle School after police shot and killed an armed eighth-grader who brandished a weapon in the main hallway of his middle school on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2012. The 15-year-old, whose name police and district officials didn’t immediately release, was taken to a local hospital and pronounced dead. (AP Photo/The Brownsville Herald, Paul Chouy)

BROWNSVILLE, Texas (AP) — The parents of an eighth grader who was fatally shot by police inside his South Texas school are demanding to know why officers took lethal action, but police said the boy was brandishing — and refused to drop — what appeared to be a handgun and that the officers acted correctly.

The weapon turned out to be a pellet gun that closely resembled the real thing, police said late Wednesday, several hours after 15-year-old Jaime Gonzalez was repeatedly shot in a hallway at Cummings Middle School in Brownsville. No one else was injured.

“Why was so much excess force used on a minor?” the boy’s father, Jaime Gonzalez Sr., asked The Associated Press outside the family’s home Wednesday night. “Three shots. Why not one that would bring him down?”

His mother, Noralva Gonzalez, showed off a photo on her phone of a beaming Jaime in his drum major uniform standing with his band instructors. Then she flipped through three close-up photos she took of bullet wounds in her son’s body, including one in the back of his head.

“What happened was an injustice,” she said angrily. “I know that my son wasn’t perfect, but he was a great kid.”


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