MISSISSIPPI (Guardian) -- A Black teenager in Mississippi was taken off life support days after Gulfport police shot him in the head outside a discount store, and his relatives are questioning officers’ actions.
Jaheim McMillan, 15, was shot on Thursday. The Harrison county coroner, Brian Switzer, confirmed to the Sun Herald that the Gulfport high school freshman died on Saturday after he was taken off life support at USA University hospital in Mobile, Alabama. An autopsy was scheduled for Tuesday, Switzer said.
A still from police body camera video shows a teen boy sitting in a car with a hamburger in his hands looking toward the open car door.
McMillan’s mother, Katrina Mateen, told WLOX-TV that when she arrived at the store after her son was shot, officers handcuffed her and walked her across the street.
In a video taken by a bystander after the shots were fired, McMillan could be seen on the ground in front of the door to the store. A witness said police handcuffed the teenager after shooting him. The Gulfport police chief, Adam Cooper, said police took four others, all believed to be minors, into custody.
The Mississippi bureau of investigation is examining the shooting of McMillan. MBI investigates all police shootings in the state, and the attorney general’s office is in charge of any prosecutions.
Gulfport police said in a news release that the shooting occurred after they responded to a 911 call about several minors waving guns at other motorists. Officers pulled the youth over in the parking lot of a Family Dollar store.
Cooper said the youth fled from the vehicle, and that one of his officers “engaged with an armed individual” before firing, but the chief did not provide further details of what led up to the shooting. He said several firearms were recovered from the scene. The police department has not released the race of the officer.
McMillan’s family does not believe he was armed, and their supporters are calling for the release of camera footage of the shooting.