Crowds are protesting and throwing rocks in Salt Lake City, Utah after police allegedly shot a teenage boy on Saturday evening near a homeless shelter. “A lot of people are yelling, ‘they shot an innocent kid,'” a reporter from local news station KSL-TV tweeted.
The victim is believed to 17-year-old Abdi Mohamed, according to local TV stations, and is reportedly in critical condition after being shot in the chest and stomach. Cops arrived at the scene after Mohamed had gotten into a fight with another person, his friend Selam Mohammad tells the Salt Lake Tribune. He adds that his friend was holding part of a broomstick at his side when officers approached him. “They told him to put it down, once, and started shooting him as soon as he turned around.”
Authorities did not immediately provide details about the circumstance of the shooting. Detective Greg Wilking told theTribune that “shots were fired,” but did not disclose how many or by whom. Within minutes of the shooting, locals had gathered around the scene and began to protest, shouting “f*** the police,” while throwing rocks and other projectiles at lines of riot police.
The Unified Police Department has since launched an investigation, which could possibly include evidence from the officers’ body cameras.
Mayor Jackie Biskupski issued the following statement about the shooting: “Like many in our community, I am deeply saddened and concerned by the events that took place in Downtown Salt Lake City last night,” she said. “The use of force by law enforcement can tear at the delicate balance of trust between both sides, and must be taken extremely seriously. These incidents create a number of unanswered questions in the short terms, and justice requires we work together in good faith to find answers.”
As of Sunday evening, protests had intensified and more than 100 police in riot gear had been called to the scene.
(Photo: Abdi Mohamed via Facebook)