Family Questions Police Shooting

By TONY BURBECK /WCNC, Nov. 4, 2007

A Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Officer shot and killed a 16 year-old boy early Sunday morning.

As a result, two separate investigations are underway. One is a criminal investigation which will eventually be handed over to the district attorney.

The other is an internal investigation to determine if the shooting was justified.

Neighbors heard gunshots around 1:15 am.

"A whole bunch of gun shots,” neighbor Ashley Eller said.

"It sounded like firecrackers, like six or seven shots going off at a time,” said neighbor Misty White.

Inside their apartments, they didn't know the reasons why.

"I didn't think nothing of it, I just thought 'okay, they're shooting,” Eller said.

In the end, 16 year-old Laquan Brown was dead, shot twice by a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Officer.

"No reason at all you had to kill my brother, just because he was running,” Laquan’s brother said. He did not want to be identified.

In the beginning, police say this was a robbery call at the Casa De Largo Apartments - a group of men trying to rob one. They say events unfolded like this:

Officers Brian Carey and Jeffrey Wheaton drove up and saw Brown running away.

They ordered him to stop - and saw Brown running with a gun in his hand.

They say Brown raised his hand and one of the officers shot him twice.

They found a gun, but aren't saying who it belongs to and whether shots were fired at police.

Brown died in the parking lot.

"He was a good child. He might have had some bad times, but he was just running and you shot my brother,” the brother said.

Last Brown's brother knew Laquan was home and falling asleep.

He woke up; Laquan was gone and wasn't answering his cell phone.

Brown's family heard about the shooting came to apartments and learned it was Laquan.

"He was my brother, he was everything. Anything I needed I knew I could call my brother."

Brown was due in court this upcoming week on charges that he stole a car.

The officers are on administrative leave, which is standard policy for police-involved shootings.

Cops get off scot-free.

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