13-year-old fatally shot by police after chase in upstate New York

Police fatally shot a 13-year-old after a chase in upstate New York after the teen displayed what appeared to be a handgun, the Utica Police Department said in a statement

Officers stopped two teenagers on Friday around 10 p.m. local time in Utica, a city of 65,283 people in upstate New York located about an hour’s drive from Syracuse, police said. While the authorities were questioning the teens, one of them fled on foot, the statement said. 

As he ran, police spotted what “appeared to be a handgun” pointed at the officers. One of the officers fired his gun and hit the teen, described as an Asian male. He was given immediate first aid by the police officers and was brought to Wynn Hospital where he died from his wounds, Utica Police Chief Mark Williams said at a Saturday morning news conference. 

Officers said they found a replica Glock handgun with a detachable magazine following the shooting. 

“This replica handgun was ultimately found to be a pellet gun,” Williams said.

Authorities have not yet released the names of the deceased 13-year-old or the officer who shot him until the next of kin is notified. An interpreter was at the news conference to provide translation for the family and their community who were in attendance, so they could understand the information provided. 

The family’s language or ethnicity wasn’t identified but Utica has resettled large amounts of refugees in recent years.  According to the Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees, one of the largest numbers of Asian refugees Utica has resettled are from Burma, including from the Karen ethnic group as well as other groups. Other Asian refugees include Vietnamese, Thai, Cambodians along with Bosnians, Dominicans and more, the center said. Just over 19 percent of the once rapidly declining industrial city is now foreign-born, the center said. 

Utica City School District’s interim superintendent released a statement on Saturday saying out of respect for the student’s family they wouldn’t release his name. 

“This tragedy reminds us of the tremendous challenges our community faces, particularly our partners in law enforcement, who tirelessly strive to ensure our streets remain safe,” interim superintendent Dr. Kathleen Davis said.

A social media video related to the incident has been circulating on the internet. Regarding the video, police said, “We are aware of a video of the incident circulating on social media platforms, which does not portray the incident in its entirety.”

Police said they are conducting an investigation following the shooting and said they will release items related to the shooting over the next several days, including a critical incident brief and the full bodycam footage. The chief said during the news conference the police officers involved in the shooting were placed on administrative leave.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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