Campus cop in hot seat for shooting knife-wielding student who was lunging at peers

A student brandishing a knife at a Nevada high school was shot by police after lunging at classmates and refusing to drop his weapon.

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Reno police confirmed a 14-year-old student at Procter Hug High School was shot Wednesday by a Washoe County School District police officer, sending the school into a code red lockdown, the Reno Gazette-Journal reported.

The student, who was in critical condition at a local hospital, and the officer were not identified by police. But Justin Clark identified his son, Logan Clark, as the student according to RGJ.

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The incident began at 11:25 a.m. when an altercation broke out between two students, Police Chief Jason Soto said at a news conference. The student was allegedly armed with at least one knife and began threatening other students. When he did not comply with a school police officer’s demands to drop the knife, the student was reportedly shot by the officer who then provided first aid until the ambulance arrived.

 

Video from KOLO-TV.

Witnesses posted videos of the incident to social media.

“There are multiple videos out there,” Reno Police Officer Tim Broadway cautioned.  “There’s some very disturbing video out there. But there are other events that led up to this incident, so please don’t react to those.”

According to RGJ:

One video posted on Facebook about 1:30 p.m. showed the moments leading up to the shooting. The video starts with several students avoiding a boy in a blue shirt brandishing a knife. A male voice can be heard yelling to the crowd of students, “Back up, back up!”

At 22 seconds into the video, a single gunshot is heard and several students scream. The camera then shows the boy writhing in pain on the ground. A police officer can be seen approaching the boy with a pistol drawn, still pointed at him.

School officials begin to yell, “Get out of here!”

The police officer approaches the boy and appears to move something away using his feet. The officer then kneels next to the boy and turns him over on his back. Before the video ends, the officer can be seen using his radio.

In a video posted on Twitter at 12:39 p.m., the same boy is seen waving his knife in attack. Another video posted at 12:40 p.m. depicts the moments immediately following the shooting as the police officer approaches the boy who is now on the ground.

 

“I wouldn’t ever expect him to do this,” Demick Laflamme Jr., 15, told RGJ about the student who is his friend. “I don’t even know what happened. It happened fast.”

“He is my son’s best friend. He’s a victim and he’s only 15 years old,” Laflamme’s father said,  adding that the student “is over at my house almost every day.” He also shared that the teen had been “bullied for days,” according to RGJ.

Laflamme was upset to see videos online of the incident and find his son standing next to the shot student.

“How could they shoot a kid in front of a bunch of other kids?” he asked. “My kid was right there. He could’ve been hurt. My son tried to go help and the police told him to back off.”

A witness who tweeted about the event felt differently:

No other injuries were reported at the school and the lockdown was lifted by mid-afternoon.

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Frieda Powers

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