June 11 (Reuters) – (This story contains graphic language in paragraph 9)
Police in Aurora, Colorado, have released body camera footage following the death of a teenager who was shot by an officer after an alleged robbery.
Jor’Dell Richardson, who is Black, was shot by an officer who chased him as he ran from a local store where police say he shoplifted vape materials with a group of youths on June 1. He was 14 years old.
Richardson, who was shot in the abdomen, later died at the hospital, police said.
A multi-agency team is investigating the shooting. Reuters could not immediately verify the race of the officers involved.
One of the videos from the body-worn cameras released on Friday showed Richardson running from officers as they shout for him to stop and get on the ground.
One of the two officers involved in the chase, James Snapp, eventually pinned him down on the ground.
“Stop, please. You got me,” Richardson can be heard saying.
A second officer, Roch Gruszeczka, caught up to his partner moments later.
“Gun, gun, let go of the fucking gun,” Gruszeczka said. “I’m going to shoot your ass.” Shortly after, a gunshot can be heard and Richardson wailing in pain.
Officers called for medical assistance and began performing CPR as Richardson appeared to lose consciousness.
“Hang with me bud,” Gruszeczka says. Police said later on he said: “God, please be with that kid.”
Aurora Police Department Chief Art Acevedo told a press conference on Friday that Richardson was carrying a firearm, although it was later determined to be a pellet gun designed to look like a 9mm handgun.
The body camera footage released by police does not show whether Richardson ever pointed the weapon at the officers. Gruszeczka has been placed on paid administrative leave.
Richardson’s family reviewed the footage before its public release, and Acevedo said he has been in contact with family members.
“No matter where this investigation takes us, no matter where we end, it is a tragedy because a young man has lost his life,” Acevedo told reporters at the news conference.
Reporting by Maria Caspani; Editing by Lisa Shumaker
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