The family of a knife-wielding teenager who was shot by police insists the Nevada cops could have found a better way to subdue him.
A Hug High campus police officer shot the 14-year-old Wednesday after he began to threaten another student with a knife, reports NBC News. The teen is in critical condition at Renown Medical Center in Reno.
The teen’s family insists there were other options besides potentially lethal force.
“There are many questions to be answered as to what happened and what could have been done to avoid the use of lethal force,” the boy’s family said in a statement Thursday. “We believe options were available to law enforcement that were not pursued,” the family declared. “All matters will be fully investigated and all answers necessary sought out.”
David Houston, the family’s lawyer, said it seemed odd for police to fire into a crowd of students.
“The police firing into what amounts to be a group of people, suggesting the same to be the safe and best method appears, at least from the video, to be suspect to say the least,” Houston said.
The incident started when two students go into a fight, according to police. The unidentified teenager took out a knife and threatened the other student with it. The teen ignored officer commands to drop his knife.
The officer shot the student for not complying and then called for medical help.
The family’s lawyer, David Houston of Reno, said it was “premature” to decide whether to seek court action.
But Houston told NBC station KRNV that it was “very odd [that] there is no step between the use of lethal force and other methods that could have perhaps rendered the situation harmless.”
“It is my belief we do not send our children to school to be shot,” he said.
During a press conference Thursday, Washoe County Schools Superintendent Traci Davis thanked officers for how they handled the situation.
“Had it not been for their quick actions and professionalism, I truly believe that the outcome could have been much worse for our students,” she said.
The shooting is under investigation and the officer involved is currently on administrative leave, pending the completion of the investigation.