Darius Smith, 15, was fatally shot by an off-duty U.S. Customs and Border Patrol officer in California who claims the teen was trying to rob him. The officer told authorities he fired in self-defense as Smith and two 14-year-olds – one of which was Smith’s cousin – tried to rob him at gunpoint after exiting a train, according to CBS Los Angeles.
ReShawna Myricks, Darius’ mother, has plenty of questions about the officer’s self-defense story.
“First they said there was no crime committed,” Myricks said in an interview with KCAL9. “Now there is a crime committed. Now it’s a gun; then they said there was a fight. I don’t know what to believe. All I know is my baby [is] gone and I’ll never know his story.”
Lee Merritt, the family’s attorney, also has his doubts about the officer’s accusations. Merritt is also representing the family of Jordan Edwards, a 15-year-old who was shot in the head while riding in a vehicle driving away from officers.
“Despite multiple shots from the killer, not one shot was fired from the gun allegedly carried by these boys (the reports are a toy gun was found near the scene),” Merritt wrote in a Facebook post. “While he was emptying his clip they appeared to be running for their lives.”
Merritt also questions whether Darius was executed. The attorney claims he was shot in the legs as if he were running away, then shot in the chest three times.
“They’re going to walk home, they’re going to see their kids tonight. I got to go back and tell my other three that one of them ain’t coming back no more ,” Myricks said.
A crowdfunding page has been started by Myricks to pay for Darius’ funeral expenses. As of this writing, it’s raised more than $8,000 of a $10,000 goal.
The other teen who was shot that night, Smiths’ cousin, didn’t suffer any life-threatening injuries and the third was brought into custody on robbery charges.
The Border Patrol agent was reportedly bruised but didn’t need to go to the hospital.