Antwon Rose, a 17-year-old unarmed teenager, was fatally shot by Pennsylvania police officers while running away from the police after a traffic stop on Tuesday night, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. The driver was arrested, and Rose attempted to flee the scene, an East Pittsburgh cop shot him three times.
According to the Allegheny County Police Department, police pulled over the car because it matched the description of a car that had been involved in a shooting of a 22-year-old man earlier that night. There was a third passenger in the car who managed to escape. Police allegedly found two semi-automatic handguns in the vehicle, according to the New York Daily News.
"I understand in today's atmosphere anytime a young man is killed there's cause for outrage in some areas," Allegheny County police Superintendent Coleman McDonough said during a press conference on Wednesday. "However, I would urge people to give us time to conduct an objective investigation, to gather facts."
The officer has been placed on leave by his department, though his identity remains unknown. McDonough also said he did not know why it would “matter” whether the officer was white or not.
A video that appears to be of the incident has been posted to Facebook and shows two people running from a car after three gunshots are fired.
“They're not even saying stop,” Antwon's aunt Mica Tinsley told the Post-Gazette after watching a video of the shooting on the local news. “They just started shooting, and he fell. He didn't make it far.”
Rose was a student at Woodland Hills School District, and the superintendent Licia Lentz urged “the communities to help us call a ceasefire to end this gun violence to keep our community safe for our children.” Rose is the fifth student from this district killed by gunfire in the past two school years.
“All I can say is he was a cool person with a good heart,” Sherri Monique, 16, a close friend of Rose, said about him. “Always there for you no matter what or how hard life got.”
“I can honestly say Antwon was one of the sweetest, most caring humans I ever met,” said Destiny Howard, 18, another friend of Rose. “He was always there for me when I had people picking on me and making up lies...he defended me when no one else was brave enough to.”
Reggie Shuford, the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania, expects a "thorough, extensive and transparent investigation.”
“Based on the information that is currently available, the East Pittsburgh police officers involved in this tragic situation seem to have disregarded the basic humanity of this boy when they chose to use lethal force,” he continued. “While we await more details of what happened, it appears through the cell phone video that the victim was running away from the police. Our heart breaks for the family of the victim, and we express our deepest condolences to them."