Police believed 19-year-old shot by officer in Detroit was armed
DETROIT (WJBK) - Police are now saying Wednesday they believe the 19-year-old suspect an officer shot and killed this week was armed.
Detroit Police Chief James Craig held a press conference surrounding a police chase that led to a police-involved shooting on Monday.
The incident happened at the corner of Ostego and Webb on Detroit's west side.
The 19-year-old suspect was shot and killed by a 22-year veteran police officer.
Both were African American men.
Police indentified the suspect killed as Raynard Burton.
The suspect's father says he doesn't have a side, and didn't have much to say to media Wednesday.
Police say Burton had a criminal record going back as a juvenile.
Craig says Burton stole a green Pontiac he crashed into a building on Monday two nights prior in a carjacking.
"The victim has identified the suspect in this shooting as the lone armed suspect, who was involved in the carjacking on February 11," Craig said.
The chief tells us the officer involved in the shooting and his partner did not know Burton was a carjacking suspect driving a stolen vehicle.
"At the time the officers observed this green Pontiac at a high rate of speed, they did not know that this vehicle was the victim's vehicle in a carjacking. The officers did not know that this was part of our follow up investigation," Craig said.
The foot chase continued on Webb Street.
The officer ran after the suspect in between abandoned houses into a backyard, where the officer encountered Burton.
"He at some point unholstered his weapon, and what was described to us was that the officer believed at one point during the foot pursuit that the suspect was grabbing his waistline and he believed the suspect could have possibly armed himself," Craig said.
Burton did not have a weapon on him, but the chief says the two men had some sort of scuffle, and that's when the officer fired a single gun shot -- killing the 19 year old.
Police are still looking to speak with anyone who may have witnessed the incident.
"I can't tell you the distance. I believe it was close range based on how the shot was fired. I can't go into a lot of details because again we're still very much in this investigation. Certainly, the (medical examiner's) report as well as the forensic analysis will give more detail to as to how close," Craig said.
The chief says the officer will remain on restricted duty pending the investigation.
The process will include a mental evaluation.
If it turns out that officer was at vault in the fatal shooting, the chief says the officer will be suspended.