The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation has opened an investigation into the fatal shooting of a teenager by a police officer earlier this month in Gulfport, police said, as lawyers for the teenager’s family demand the release of video footage of the incident.
Law enforcement officers responded to a 911 call Oct. 6 of multiple people in a vehicle brandishing firearms, Gulfport Police Chief Adam Cooper said in a news release this week. When police arrived and made contact with the vehicle, members of the group abandoned the vehicle and attempted to flee, he said.
An officer shot 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 being retained by McMillan’s family.
The officer who shot and struck McMillan has been placed on enforcement duty, Gulfport Police spokesman Sgt. Jason DuCré told CNN on Friday.
The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation “is currently evaluating this critical incident and gathering evidence. Once the investigation is complete, agents will share their findings with the local Attorney General’s office,” the state office said. State Attorney General Lynn Fitch’s office declined to comment, citing an active investigation.
Police have not publicly released footage of the shooting. Crump asked officials to release all the videos “so we can see with our own eyes what happened that tragic night,” he said.
“This kid had his whole life ahead of him, but those officers’ bullets took all that chance away in an instant,” Crump said. “While much remains unknown about this case, we plan to keep the pressure on Mississippi officials until we get the answers this family needs and deserves.”
Police say McMillan did not comply with the officer’s verbal commands to stop running and drop the weapon. Instead, police allege, McMillan turned his body and weapon toward the officer, prompting the officer to shoot 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’s office and are fully cooperating with the investigation, Cooper said. The police department is also conducting its own internal investigation into whether policies were violated.
CNN has reached out to the Harrison County Coroner’s office for more information.