Authorities have released scarce details in the shooting of a teenager by police in Salt Lake City on Saturday night (Feb. 27). Withholding information regarding the victim and the officers involved, Salt Lake City Police are expected to reveal more information after the streets of the Rio Grande District erupted in protests. Ahead of the police’s official statement, the family however identified the victim as 17-year-old Abdi Mohamed.
According to local new station Fox 13, Mohamed is currently in a coma after being shot three times. Other reports included that Mohamed was wielding a broomstick during an altercation at the time of his shooting. Detective Ken Hansen of the Unified Police Department claimed that officers intervened to break up the fight, and that Mohamed attempted to attack the officers with his makeshift weapon.
The police department took to Twitter amid the unrest in the streets:
Additional info: officers on unrelated call in area, alerted to assault in progress, tried to engage altercation. Investigation cont. #OICI
— SLC Police Dept. (@slcpd) February 28, 2016
Selam Mohammad, a friend of Mohamed’s, shared a different account, however. He told the Salt Lake City Tribune that his friend had the broomstick by his side, and that officers shot Mohamed after instructing him to drop it twice.
“The police said, ‘drop it’, once, then they shot him four times,” Selam Mohammad recalled. “We were trying to break it up before the police even came, but the police ran in on foot and pulled their guns out already. They already had them, like, as soon as he was running he was already grabbing for his gun, not even trying to Tase him or anything.”
Mohamed is a father, and had been living West Valley City with his girlfriend and son. His family is originally from Kenya and moved to Utah 10 years ago.
“He was a really caring, good, loving boyfriend, and a really, good caring loving father, I know what he was doing every day, the things he would do for us, I wouldn’t expect that from him he just wanted to make sure we were loved and we were happy he put us in front of everything,” his girlfriend said.