(PITTSBURGH) — The family of an unarmed teenager shot and killed by police while he was fleeing a traffic stop doesn’t “want him to have died in vain,” a family attorney said.
Antwon Rose, 17, who was African-American, was shot dead by an East Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, police officer Tuesday after the teen and two others were pulled over in a car believed to have been connected to an earlier shooting that night.
The deadly shooting was caught on cellphone video, which is being reviewed by authorities.
Rose’s family is “devastated” and “stunned,” family attorney Fred Rabner told ABC News Thursday morning.
Rabner described Rose as a “beautiful” and “kind” teenager who worked with young children at a gymnastics gym as well as at a local Domino’s Pizza.
“This is not someone who was in trouble ever,” Rabner said. “This is not a family that was anything but doting and loving about their son.”
“It doesn’t seem to me that there is any justification ever for shooting an individual who is fleeing in the back,” Rabner said, adding that the officer was standing “poised” and appeared to shoot from 15 to 30 feet away.
Demonstrators took over local streets during a downpour Wednesday, holding “Black Lives Matter” signs, blocking traffic and confronting officers.
At the peaceful protest was Rose’s cousin Theresa Lynn Rose Monroe, who said the family is distraught and demanding answers.
“It’s senseless,” she told ABC News. “He wasn’t a threat. And I just don’t understand why — why does it got to keep happening?”
The deadly incident began with a separate shooting about 15 minutes earlier, when someone in a passing car shot and wounded a 22-year-old man. The victim also returned fire at the passing car, police said.
“Witnesses described the vehicle involved in the shooting, and the description was broadcast” to officers, police said.
An East Pittsburgh police officer spotted a car matching the description — a silver Chevy Cruze — and pulled the car over at 8:40 p.m., police said. The driver was ordered out of the car and directed to the ground, but Rose and another individual in that car fled on foot, police said.
The officer shot three times at Rose as he fled — and struck him three times, police said.
The other passenger, who has not been identified, remains at large, police said.
The officer had been sworn in with the department hours before the shooting, ABC station WTAE-TV reported. He has been placed on administrative leave, police said.
Police said Rose did not have a weapon on him, and none of the three suspects fired at officers, adding that “two firearms were later recovered from the suspect vehicle.”
The driver was detained and later released, police said.
“We are committed to finding the truth in this investigation,” Coleman McDonough, superintendent of Allegheny County Police Department, told ABC News on Wednesday.
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