DES MOINES, Iowa — The Iowa Attorney General’s Office said the Des Moines Police officers involved in a shooting that killed a 16-year-old boy acted with ‘legal justification’ Wednesday.
In a report the AGs office stated that after a review and investigation conducted by the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigations the officers will face no criminal charges in the shooting.
According to the report, Officers Noah Bollinger, Thomas Garcia, Zachary Duitscher, and Nicholas Howard responded to a 911 call on Dec. 26 at 12:30 a.m. that was made by a man who was later identified as the boy’s stepfather. In the call the stepfather claimed T.J., his stepson, had brandished a gun at him.
Officers discovered T.J. at his grandmothers apartment with one of his friends in the 400 block of East McKinley Ave., where the shooting later took place.
According to the report, body camera footage showed T.J. pointing the handgun at officers when they made entrance to the apartment. During the interaction with officers, T.J. could be seen in body camera footage pointing the handgun in the officers’ direction multiple times, the report states.
T.J. was described as being calm throughout the entire interaction, according to the report. The report also states that T.J. said multiple times that he “was going to die” and that he “wanted to be with his brother.” T.J.’s brother had been shot and killed in Arizona two months before this shooting occurred, the report states.
Officers, T.J.’s grandmother, and his friend all pleaded with him a total of 70 times to drop the firearm, but he never dropped the weapon, the report said. At around 12:40 a.m., the first gunshot was fired at T.J. Officers Duitscher, Garcia, and Bollinger shot at T.J. a total of 14 times, the report states. T.J. never fired the gun in his hands.
Body camera footage of the shooting will be released by the Des Moines Police Department at a later date.