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Teen critically wounded by police

Led them on a chase in Tucson with a 40-ton earthmover


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The unidentified teen sits at the wheel of the earthmover Thursday.
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Arizona

TUCSON, Arizona (CNN) -- An internal investigation has begun into whether Tucson police officers were justified in shooting an unarmed teenager, a police official said Friday.

The 14-year-old boy remains in critical condition.

Two police officers fired Thursday night after he led them on a 15-mile chase with an earthmover. At one point, as many as 15 police cruisers were chasing the teenager.

He had been driving the 40-ton earthmover at speeds of 30 to 40 mph, said assistant police chief Kermit Miller.

Police pursued him after noticing scattered power outages in a neighborhood on Tucson's east side. They soon realized the Caterpillar bulldozer had knocked down utility poles along the road, Miller said.

The chase ended in a cul-de-sac, where the boy turned around the 40-foot-long vehicle and began driving downhill toward the police cruisers, said Miller.

That is when two officers fired, with at least one round hitting the teen, Miller said.

"We're assuming he was going to go over the vehicles in the roadway with the officers in them," he added.

There were no other injuries, Miller said.

The boy is accused of stealing the earthmover and likely will be charged with robbery and endangering the lives of officers, Miller said.

Miller said the teen apparently was upset because his parents were moving and stole the Caterpillar earthmover, which he was skilled at driving, from a construction site.

CNN's Sean Callebs contributed to this report.


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