The Mississippi Bureau of Investigations has launched a probe regarding a police officer shooting and killing a teenager earlier this month in the city of Gulfport, police said, as attorneys for the teen’s family call for video footage of the incident to be released.
Law enforcement officers responded to a 911 call on October 6 of multiple people in a vehicle brandishing firearms, Gulfport Police Chief Adam Cooper said at a news briefing this week. When police arrived and made contact with the vehicle, members of the group left the vehicle and attempted to flee, he said.
An officer then fired at an armed suspect – identified by police as Jaheim McMillan – who pointed a weapon in their direction, Cooper said.
McMillan, 15, was struck in the head and later died after being taken off life support, according to a news release from civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who is retained by McMillan’s family.
The officer who fired and struck McMillan has been placed on non-enforcement duties, Gulfport Police spokesperson Sgt. Jason DuCré told CNN on Friday.
The Mississippi Bureau of Investigations “is currently assessing this critical incident and gathering evidence. Upon completing their investigation, agents will share their findings with the local Attorney General’s Office,” the state bureau said. State Attorney General Lynn Fitch’s office declined to comment, citing the active investigation.
Police have not publicly released any footage of the shooting. Crump called on officials to release all video “so that we can see with our own eyes what transpired on that tragic night,” he said.
“This child had his whole life ahead of him, but bullets from those officers took all possibility of that away in an instant,” Crump said. “While much remains unknown about this case, we fully intend to put pressure on officials in Mississippi until this family gets the answers they need and deserve.”
Police say McMillan did not comply with the officer’s verbal commands to stop running and drop his weapon. Instead, police alleged, McMillan turned his body and weapon toward the officer, prompting the officer to fire at McMillan.
After being shot, McMillan was taken to a hospital before being airlifted to another medical center, police said.
Gulfport police have turned over all evidence to the state bureau and are cooperating fully with the investigation, Cooper said. The police department is also conducting its own internal investigation to determine whether policies were violated.
CNN has reached out to the Harrison County Coroner’s office for further information.