THE BRONX — Police shot and killed a teenager in Melrose early Sunday after he began firing on them, the NYPD says.
Officers responding to the sound of shots being fired near 151st Street and Courtland Avenue at around 3 a.m. found Shaaliver Douse, 14, of Claremont, running westbound on 151st with a 9 mm gun drawn, cops said.
After spotting Douse running down the block towards the cops, after another teenager, they saw him fire, police said.
"Drop the gun," the two uniformed cops ordered, and identified themselves, but Douse refused, the NYPD said. One police officer then fired his weapon, striking the teen in his lower left jaw and killing him at the scene, according to police and the FDNY.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said the officers acted approriately, and that it was unclear whether Douse fired at the cops or only the other teen, since his target had already run behind the patrolmen.
"We have someone armed with a gun shooting at someone who apparently does have a gun," said Kelly in a press conference. "The conclusion of that could have been that the young man he was chasing was killed. These officers stopped that from happening."
According to earlier reports, Douse had been charged by the NYPD and then later released by the courts in May on attempted murder charges, regarding the non-fatal shooting of a 15-year-old near Boston Road and Jefferson Place on May 16, Bronx 12 reported. And Douse was a suspected member of a local gang called Nine, according to a New York Times story.
But Quwana Barcene, Douse's aunt, said that she didn't believe her nephew was involved with that earlier incidend, and said that the boy's mother, Shanise Farra, was devastated.
Douse was the woman's only child, said Barcene.
"Do you know how it is to bury your child, before they bury you?" she said. "There needs to be an investigation into what happened here. You get told one thing, another thing, another thing, but no full story."
She said that Douse had been out with friends the evening before the shooting.
"He was just a boy, and you know what boys are like," she said. "But the boy don't smoke, the boy don't drink, he was not a gang member."
Police released a photo of the gun, a semi-automatic Astro A-100 that was recovered at the scene on Sunday afternoon.
The rookie officers, who were 26 and 27 years of age, were appointed to the NYPD in January of this year, and both were being treated at Jacobi Hospital for trauma and tinnitus the NYPD said.
An investigation was ongoing.