Newly released video footage shows an Arizona police officer shooting a teen who’s sprinting away from him after allegedly committing a burglary.
The dramatic video comes from a body camera worn by Tempe Police Officer Joseph Jaen on the afternoon of Jan. 15. Jaen, a 14-year veteran of the police force, was responding to a call about a suspicious vehicle.
The video shows Jaen park in an alley opposite a Chevy pickup that police say was being burglarized by 14-year-old Antonio Arce. The officer takes cover behind a trash can, and moments later the teen starts to run away.
“Hey! Let me see your hands,” Jaen says before firing two shots toward Arce when the teen was almost at a bend in the alley. After firing, Jaen can be heard telling the police dispatcher, “He’s got a handgun.”
The video is too grainy and shaky to tell if Arce was holding a weapon as he ran from the officer.
According to Tempe police, one of the shots missed and the other struck Arce in the shoulder blade. Officers called paramedics and performed CPR, but the teen was pronounced dead at the hospital. A cause of death has not yet been made public.
Authorities say an airsoft gun was found near Arce. This is not shown in the video. Police said the teen took the replica gun out of the pickup.
Before releasing the body-camera video, Tempe police Sgt. Ron Elcock told Phoenix’s KNXV-TV that Arce had turned and faced the officer.
“The officer perceived a threat and fired his service weapon,” Elcock said.
However, the video does not appear to show Arce turn back as he ran from the officer.
WARNING: The following video is graphic and may be disturbing to some viewers.
Jaen was placed on administrative leave following the shooting, which is still under investigation.
CNN reported Jaen served in the National Guard from 2007 to 2013 and was deployed to Iraq in 2011.
Arce’s family has retained Phoenix attorney Danny Ortega.
“It was a long distance,” Ortega told Phoenix’s KPHO-TV of the shooting. “How this young man could have presented a threat at that far a distance is a question that needs to be asked.”
In a news release, Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell said the investigation into the shooting will be thorough.
“I will follow it closely,” the mayor said. “The outcome of both the criminal and the administrative investigations, whatever they may be, will be shared with the public. Only when the facts are known can we begin to heal.”