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Dec 4, 2017

Is Teakettle “Jose” a Robber or a Victim?

One man is dead following a shooting at the hands of the police. The victim is unidentified and had moved to the village of Teakettle about four months ago. But over the weekend, the police shot the robbery suspect as he fled from the cops. There are conflicting reports as to how the incident unfolded in the village; police claim their firearm went off accidentally, but villagers say they heard as many as three shots. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

A fleeing suspect was shot and killed by police in Teakettle Village on Sunday afternoon and the officers who pursued him through this football field say that it was all an accident.

 

Melvin Correa

Melvin Correa, Teakettle Resident

“I actually don’t believe it’s an accident and I think many more do not believe it’s an accident and we don’t really take that as an accident.”

 

According to a report that was subsequently filed, the men set out on foot in an attempt to apprehend the alleged robber when he took off running.  They immediately set chase and would soon find themselves, like the accused man they were following, entangled in a barbed wire fence.  Somehow, the officer’s service issued firearm discharged and injured the unidentified man in the right knee.  That shot would later turn out to be fatal.

 

Joseph Myvett

ACP Joseph Myvett, Head, National Crimes Investigation Branch

“Police responded to a report of a robbery that had previously occurred on the third of December.  The complainant accompanied police to an area behind Teakettle Village known as Arizona.  Upon the police’s arrival with the complainant, the suspect was pointed out by the complainant and when approached by the police the suspect attempted to make good his escape and was pursued by the police.  During the process, the suspect received one apparent gunshot injury to the right knee.  He was immediately taken to the Western Regional Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.  The identity of the suspect at this time is unknown.  He is a male Hispanic descent person who had seemingly moved into the Arizona area some four months ago and was living in an abandoned vehicle.  Police have since commenced simultaneous internal and criminal investigations into this matter which is ongoing, as we speak.”

 

According to residents in Teakettle, Jose, as the deceased was known to them, led the chase by running through several nearby properties.

 

Melvin Correa

“When the police officers approached him he took off running away and I suppose that anyone would run away if they don’t know what’s the reason why you’re coming towards him trying to handcuff you or anything.  Someone that doesn’t even know what the law is within this country would probably do that.  They chased him through some house lots down there.  That’s practically what happened.”

 

In the face of a concurrent investigation, police are withholding the names of their colleagues who were involved in the incident.

 

ACP Joseph Myvett

“I am not at liberty to release those names as this is an ongoing investigation at this point.  The investigation is in its early stages and the officers are being interviewed at this time.”

 

Reporter

“Can you tell us more about the robbery?”

 

ACP Joseph Myvett

“According to the complainant, he was robbed sometime on the second of December in the same area where he lived and had made a verbal report to the police and was at the time of the incident, accompanying the police to the area where he then pointed out the suspect to the police.”

 

That account, however, is being refuted by villagers, who say that they were not aware of any robbery the day before.  They also claim that as many as three shots were fired during the pursuit.

 

Melvin Correa

“We know nothing about him robbing anyone.  We actually didn’t heard of him robbing anyone, so we can’t say that he was actually robbing someone.  Actually no one heard any rumors about him robbing anyone because right here it would have been something that everyone would have known quick if he had done that.”

 

An attempt is being made by police to identify the body.

 

ACP Joseph Myvett

“The police were on the scene yesterday after the scene was processed and they are back on the scene today canvassing the entire area to see if the identity can be determined of the person.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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