16yo boy shot dead by off-duty Texas police officer
“If he did something he shouldn’t be doing, then he should be arrested – not shot,” said the teen’s cousin, Nora Rubi, who gathered with the teen’s family to demand answers at Addison police station on Monday night, according to The Dallas Morning News.
Jose Raul Cruz, 16, was shot and killed on Sunday night. That’s when an off-duty Farmers Branch police officer, Ken Johnson, allegedly saw Cruz and another male breaking into a vehicle in a parking lot.
Police said there had been a series of vehicle break-ins in the neighborhood. Officer Johnson, who was not in uniform, saw the pair leave in Cruz’s red Dodge Challenger, so he pursued them in his SUV. Half a mile later, the vehicles collided.
In surveillance footage obtained by WFAA, Johnson’s black Chevrolet Tahoe appears to hit the back of the Challenger, which then spins out of control at the intersection by a Shell station in Addison.
Police said after an “altercation,” Johnson fired his gun, hitting Cruz and his passenger. Details of the altercation have not been released. Cruz died at the scene. His passenger, Edgar Rodriguez, was shot in the head, but is expected to survive.
The police officer was not injured but is claimed to have feared for his life, according to The Dallas Morning News. Johnson repeatedly told them he was a police officer, and police have declined to say whether Cruz or Rodriguez were armed.
Johnson fired his duty weapon “because he was in fear of his life and he felt that fear was justified,” attorney Chris Livingston told the Morning News.
Cruz’s family and others have called for a thorough investigation.
Friends and family grieve over death of Jose Cruz, fatally shot by an off-duty Farmers Branch officer pic.twitter.com/b72E27wdRB— Julieta Chiquillo (@jmchiquillo) March 14, 2016
“My son was killed because of racism,” Ana Henriquez told the Dallas Morning News while holding a framed picture of Cruz.
The group, which chanted “Jose Cruz,” later moved to the Farmers Branch police headquarters.
Addison police are investigating the shooting, and Farmers Branch police are reviewing the officer’s actions. Both departments have declined to comment on the investigation.
Henriquez said she wants the US Department of Justice and FBI to get involved.
Johnson has been placed on paid administrative leave which is usual during an investigation.