Dallas area police dept. fires officer who fatally shot 15-year-old

By Mike Bambach  |  May 2, 2017 at 9:14 PM
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May 2 (UPI) -- The police officer who shot and killed a black teenager Saturday night in suburban Dallas has been fired, Balch Springs, Texas, Police Chief Jonathan Haber said Tuesday.

Haber said officer Roy Oliver "violated several department policies" in shooting 15-year-old Jordan Edwards. Oliver, who was hired by the department in 2011, has 10 days to appeal.

On Monday, the Dallas County Medical Examiner ruled the teen's death a homicide.

Edwards' family wants the officer arrested and charged, said attorney S. Lee Merritt. The medical examiner's ruling doesn't necessarily mean charges will be filed.

"We reached out to the family," Haber said at a news conference Tuesday. "My heart just skipped beats from one father to another. I don't know what they're... [it] can't be expressed what they're going through."

Oliver and another officer responded to a 911 report of drunken teenagers walking around a neighborhood. The officers said they heard gunshots and a car backed down the street toward them "in an aggressive manner" when they opened fire.

On Monday, Haber reversed the initial account after reviewing body camera footage and determined that the officers "did not meet our core values." He also said the car full of teens was driving away from officers when they opened fire.

Edwards was shot in the head with a rifle through the passenger's side window and was transported to a hospital, where he died. Neither officer was injured.

Hundreds gathered Monday night outside Mesquite High School to remember Edwards, an A-student and standout athlete.

"The bond that he shared with his family, particularly his siblings, was indescribable," his family said in a statement. "Not only have Jordan's brothers lost their best friend; they witnessed firsthand his violent, senseless murder. Their young lives will forever be altered."

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