An Ontario teenager who was fatally shot while handcuffed by deputies in Moreno Valley last week was armed during the incident, a spokesperson for the Riverside County Sheriff's Department said Monday. People who knew the suspect don’t deny he was a gang member, but the way he died is a shock to them all. Jacob Rascon reports from Moreno Valley for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Dec. 31, 2012.
An Ontario teenager who was fatally shot while handcuffed by deputies in Moreno Valley last week was armed during the incident, a police spokesperson said Monday.
The suspect, later identified as Lamon Khiry Haslip, 18, died Friday night as deputies answered a gang-related call in the 25000 block of Fir Avenue.
Haslip’s friends and neighbors, including Pastor Caleb Henderson, do not deny he was a gang member, but contest the way in which he was killed.
"No one should be shot, handcuffed with hands behind their back," Henderson said.
Byttany Haines and her boyfriend Daniel Aguilar said they saw the deadly incident up close.
"He didn’t move; he wasn’t screaming; he didn’t try to resist; he was handcuffed," Aguilar said.
The Riverside County Sheriff’s office told NBC4 a deputy chased down and arrested Haslip while responding to a "man with a gun" call. When backup arrived, the office said Haslip "rolled over" and revealed a gun.
Haines said that’s when deputies started screaming for the teen to “get down.”
"And you hear one shot and he doesn’t move after that, you know he’s dead," Haines said. "I started screaming, I cried and I just kept yelling, 'Call the news, you guys can’t just do that to people.'"
Aguilar said the incident was disturbing.
"I felt like crying you know because I never seen anyone get popped like that," Aguilar said.
Anita Morris, Haslip’s aunt, said the man’s father is in prison and his mother lives out of state. Morris said she always believed Haslip would turn his life around and is devastated he won’t get that chance.
"I like him to be remembered by his smile," Morris said.
Deputies found a loaded gun on Haslip. His friends and family said that doesn’t mean much since he couldn’t have used the weapon. "If there’s a gun in play, no way he could have grabbed and controlled it," Henderson speculated.