A Washington, D.C. officer shot and killed an 18-year-old Deon Kay in Southeast D.C. after police say he fled from law enforcement and pulled out a gun. After a night of protests, D.C. Police have released bodycam footage leading up to the shooting.
The incident occurred on Wednesday just before 4 p.m., Washington 4 reports. The police were reportedly out on an investigation looking into a man with a gun. The location was east of Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling. When officers arrived, people were around a vehicle. When the people noticed the cop cars, two took off running, and police chased after them. Police say Kay took out a gun during the pursuit, and officers responded by using their firearms to shoot him. Kay was later pronounced dead at the hospital.
Marcyelle Smith, 19, and Deonte Brown, 18, two other teens, were both arrested. Smith was charged with carrying a pistol without a license. Brown was arrested and charged with no permit. Several protesters took to the streets in front of the police department’s 7th District station on Alabama Avenue SE Wednesday night calling for justice. Many of the demonstrators questioned whether the teen had a gun before police spoke out about the incident. Ward 8 Council Member Trayon White, who represents the area, said Kay’s mother told her that her son was just “a kid” and lived about two blocks from where the police killed him. The officers involved are currently on administrative leave.
Police Chief Peter Newsham said Kay was a “validated gang member” known to police officers, The Daily Mail reports. Body-cam footage shows the moment leading up to the shooting. Kay was shot in the chest by a Metropolitan Police officer identified on Thursday as Alexander Alvarez. In the 11-minute video, cops are seen chasing Kay near an apartment complex. The officer can be heard telling the teen, “Don’t move!” Instead, the teen runs toward police with the gun in his hand but then tosses the gun “98 feet away,” according to police. The cop can then be seen searching for the gun in a grassy area where it was allegedly thrown, The Daily Mail reports.
The incident has prompted an investigation. During the press conference on Thursday, Newsham said, “I know he’s a validated gang member from the area, and I know that he has had multiple touches with the criminal justice system.”
“This is a tragedy… to have any young person killed in the District of Columbia,” he said. D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser called the shooting “tragic.” She added that Kay’s mother has been offered counseling support, and she was able to view footage before it was released to the public.