Radazz Hearns, a 14-year-old from Trenton, N.J., was shot seven times by two New Jersey police officers last week while running away, reports NJ.com.
Hearns, who is in stable condition at Capital Health Regional Medical Center in Trenton, was shot five times in the back of his right leg, once in the left leg and one bullet lodged in his pelvis. The officers were responding to reports of shots fired in the neighborhood.
"Those police were amped and they didn't give that little boy a chance,'' Rhonda Tirado, who witnessed the shooting near her home, told NJ.com. "There was no room for no chase. They just shot that little boy right there."
Witnesses also reported that Hearns had reached for his waistband before the officers fired, according to the state's attorney general's office. Hearns was unarmed.
"I just want everyone to know this whole thing is tragic, and it's very hard," said Salema Jackson, Hearns's mother, at Shiloh Baptist Church in Trenton. "It's hard to see a child hurt and you can't help him."
The incident is under investigation by the state's Office of the Attorney General because it involved a state police trooper and a sheriff's officer for Mercer County. The names of the officers involved have not been released. Leaders in the community, including Trenton's mayor, Eric Jackson, and Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, have expressed frustration that details have not yet been revealed.
"No matter what happened that night, he's here to tell his story," said Samuel A. Anyan Jr., the victim's family lawyer. "All signs lead to the fact that Mr. Hearns was unarmed and was fleeing from the officers when he was shot."
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(Photo: Courtesy of Hearns Family Attorney)
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