Teen Armed With Iron Fatally Shot By PoliceCBS 3
Oct. 09, 2007
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PHILADELPHIA - Family members are questioning what led to a police involved shooting inside a Northeast Philadelphia row home Monday during which a 15-year-old boy was killed.
Officers were called to the 600 block of Brill Street in the Lawncrest section of the city after the teen's mother reported a domestic disturbance at about 2:45 p.m.
Upon their arrival, Police Commissioner Sylvester Johnson said officers witnessed 15-year-old Ron Timbers with a knife in one hand and a hammer in the other while struggling with his mother.
Timbers' mother was somehow able to disarm the teen before he fled upstairs, Johnson said during a news conference Tuesday.
Johnson said Timbers charged back down the stairs brandishing household steam iron.
"He put the iron over his head, came towards the officer, the officer fired one time," Johnson said.
The teen was rushed to Albert Einstein Medical Center with a gunshot wound to his shoulder, where he was later pronounced dead.
"He didn't have a crow bar. He didn't have a knife. He had an iron. They shot and killed someone over an iron," the victim's aunt said.
Timbers was a ninth-grader at the CEP Miller Alternative School, a school for students with discipline problems, according to the Philadelphia School District. Neighbors on Brill Street told CBS 3 they have previously seen the teen carrying knives on several past occasions.
But angered family members questioned the use of deadly force by police as they gathered at the scene with neighbors Monday.
"They could have shot him in the leg if they were going to shot him or they could of maced him. They could've used any other tactic other than shooting him," a family member said.
Johnson said it is not feasible for an officer to take specific aim during the split second decision to open fire.
"The rules are if there is reason enough to shoot, there’s reason enough to kill. We’re not that sophisticated where we can just shoot things out of people’s hand," Johnson said.
The officer involved in the shooting has been put on paid leave while Philadelphia Police Internal Affairs Division investigates the incident, as is standard procedure.
Timbers' family said they have hired an attorney.
City police have fatally shot 14 people this year. Last year, 20 people were killed in police shootings, the city's highest annual total in more than a quarter-century.
Police Cruiser Crashes En Route To Scene
Chopper 3 was over the intersection of Castor Avenue and Knorr Street where an officer, who was apparently responding to the shooting, was involved in a crash. At least two civilian vehicles were also involved in the accident.
No serious injuries were reported.
Both incidents remain under investigation.