14-Year-Old Boy Shot Dead By Cop In Boyle Heights

“It was not right for them to do what they did or kill him. That’s why they are trained as police officers. Not to kill him,” Jesse Romero’s mother said.

The residents of Boyle Heights woke up to shocking news about the death of 14-year-old Jesse Romeo. According to Los Angeles Police Department, the boy was suspected to be inscribing gang-style graffiti in the neighborhood and took to his heels upon seeing the police. The LAPD further stated on Wednesday that the boy fired a gun at the police resulting in them also opening fire.

LAPD Deputy Chief Robert Arcos, in an official narration of the event which led to the shooting, said that the Hollenbeck Division received a call at around 5:35 p.m. reporting the activities of two vandalism suspects. He further stated that the suspects were said to be involved in gang-writings and narcotics activities near Chicago Street and Cesar Chavez Avenue.

According to Arcos, two officers were dispatched to the scene. At their arrival, the two boys bolted; one to the east of Cesar Chavez and the other took to the south onto Breed Street. According to an eyewitness, Romero shot at the police, Arcos told reporters.

As the cops heard the sound of a gunshot, one of them fired back at the teenage boy, killing him. The other suspect has since been arrested and detained. The police said they found a handgun at the scene. Currently, an investigation is ongoing to ascertain the cause of the tragedy.

Most people in the neighborhood had been thrown into a state of shock as they mourn the teenager. Many have described him as a calm and good boy who wouldn’t be involved in such activities.

Teresa Dominguez, Romero’s mother couldn’t believe officers could commit such an awful offense. She said, “It was not right for them to do what they did or kill him.” Dominguez also added; “That’s why they are trained as police officers. Not to kill him.”

Meanwhile, according to an eyewitness account, Jesse Romero didn’t shoot the gun. The woman who gave her name as Norma said, “He didn’t shoot.”

Family and friends have since then visited Romero’s house to show their condolence and mourn with the bereaved mother.

Jesse Romero and her single mother moved to the U.S.A from Mexico and settled in Boyle Heights when he was just a year old. The single mother works in the shipping and packing department of a manufacturing company.

It seems that police don’t use any other methods of arrest except shooting.  Nonetheless, this more often happens to Black and Latino people. Another careless shooting led to the death of a 14-year-old Latino boy. So now the question; are the police trained to kill or to protect?

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