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Family of teen shot during stand off speaks out

4:05 PM, Jun 9, 2013   |    comments
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ORANGE PARK, Fla. -- One neighbor and the grandmother of the 15-year-old shot during a police standoff Saturday are disputing key details of the incident released by the Clay County Police Department. 

The teen is in the hospital, in critical condition, according to police.

The teen's family said his prognosis isn't good. 

The suspect's grandmother, Patricia Laughter, said it was all very hard to comprehend. 

"My grandson was very funny," she said.
 
Laughter wanted to share how she saw him through her eyes.
 
"He would give you the shirt off his back," she said as she fought back tears.
 
Laughter said her grandson called her Saturday night, saying he was going to harm himself.
 
"It probably wasn't true," she said. "But I needed to get to him and get him help."

She then called police. 

According to Colonel David Alrich, with the Clay County Sheriff's Office, deputies went to the teen's home, but later received a tip about a person matching the teen's description running through nearby woods.

Alrich said an officer and a K9 unit spotted the teen kneeling in the woods and said the teen and Deputy Jason Graff exchanged gunfire. 

Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigators are trying to determine if the bullet that hit the teen was from the officer's gun or the teen's gun.  

Sunday, the Sheriff's Office said the teen is in critical condition at UF Health. Some in the neighborhood are questioning what really happened Saturday night.

"There was one shot fired. I was sitting here in the yard when I heard a small caliber gun," Laughter said.
 
A neighbor, who only wanted to be identified as John, agreed with Laughter.

"I know what gunshots sound like," he explained. "There was one."

It will be up to FDLE investigators to determine how many shots were fired and which gun shot the bullet that hit the teen. 

The teenager's grandmother is still in shock.

"A 15-year-old child should've never been shot by a police officer," Laughter said.

The teenager's mother told FCN she is "not doing well." She said she is keeping her son on life support so that he may donate his organs. She told FCN she wants other lives to be saved by this action.

On Sunday, Steve Arthur, with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement told FCN that the Clay County Sheriff's office requested FDLE's assistance with an officer-involved shooting Saturday night. 

They hope to be able to release more information on Monday.

First Coast News

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