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Boy, 12, with toy gun shot, killed by police
Arkansas Democrat Gazette ^ | 24 JUN 07 | Jacob Quinn

Posted on 06/24/2007 9:03:49 AM PDT by DCBryan1

Boy, 12, with toy gun shot, killed by police

W. Memphis officers were on stakeout

BY JACOB QUINN SANDERS ARKANSAS DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE

A West Memphis police officer shot and killed a 12-year-old boy late Friday night, mistaking the child’s silver toy gun for a real handgun, authorities said Saturday.

The shooting occurred about 9:53 p.m. while two officers were on a stakeout hoping to break a string of convenience-store armed robberies near North 24th Street and Goodwin Avenue.

The officers waited in the dark parking lot of the Steeplechase Apartments just south of Interstate 40 and Interstate 55. They saw two people, yelling and running, and got out of the car to confront them, Assistant Police Chief Mike Allen said.

One of the two running had something in his hand that looked to one of the officers like a gun, Allen said.

“We carry Glock .40-caliber handguns, and this weapon appeared to be a silverish replica of that type of firearm,” Allen said.

The officers hollered at the two people, ordering one to drop the gun. The person made what Allen called an “evasive action,” and one officer fired at least two shots, the assistant chief said. “I don’t think the officer realized until after the shooting that this boy was as young as he was,” Allen said. “He just had no idea.”

The victim, DeAunta Farrow, graduated from the sixth grade at Maddux Elementary School 28 days earlier. “Believe it or not,” said his aunt, Katherine Townsend, “he wanted to be a police officer. It’s pretty bad that his life was taken by a police officer.”

Townsend said DeAunta was a “good neighborhood kid,” saying, “Yes, ma’am, no, ma’am,” and was often at the apartment complex, where another aunt and two cousins live. He was supposed to spend the night Friday with his cousin, Unseld Nance Jr., 14.

Instead, she said, Unseld saw his cousin die. West Memphis police called in Arkansas State Police investigators — one from Forrest City and one from Marianna — to make a report on the shooting to the Crittenden County prosecuting attorney’s office, which will decide whether to file criminal charges against the officers involved.

“If it takes a week, it takes a week,” state police spokesman Bill Sadler said Saturday. “If it takes two weeks, so be it.” Allen declined to identify the officers but said they were veterans with at least five years of experience in West Memphis. Both were placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation. The department has 83 sworn police officers for the city of 27,000 people.

“Something like this affects the whole community, not just our department,” Allen said. “Clearly, our hearts go out to this victim’s family. “This just tears you up. Both our officers in this thing have families of their own, and they’re hurting, too. They relied on their training and got the outcome every officer has nightmares about. At the same time, I would hate to know that they hesitated and found out that gun was real.” This was the first time in Allen’s almost 27 years on the West Memphis police force, he said, that someone carrying a fake gun had been shot by an officer. He said the neighborhood where the shooting occurred had changed substantially.

“I wouldn’t consider it a war zone or a real high-crime area,” he said. “Maybe 10 or 15 years ago it was. But now? I mean, have crimes occurred in that particular area? Yes. Have shootings occurred in that particular area? Yes. But it’s been getting a whole lot better.” Allen met Saturday morning with DeAunta’s mother, Debra Farrow, and a house full of other relatives and family friends.

“This is a very small town, and my son played football with someone who was a relative of this woman,” Allen said of the boy’s mother. The night before, he said, he had seen her “hyperventilate” at the scene of the shooting, several blocks from her home at 1917 Goodwin. “The only thing I can describe it as was she’s still in shock,” Allen said.

Townsend said family members were skeptical of the official version of events but still hope that they will get answers. “I don’t want to talk bad about the police because we need the police,” she said. “But I can only pray that justice is done.” She said children from all over the half-block-wide apartment complex saw the shooting.

“These kids are 5, 6, 7, 8 years old, and someone they know just got murdered,” she said. “How do they deal with that and still respect the police? “The reach of the police, it goes a long, long way — but the truth do, too. This child is not going to die in vain.”


TOPICS: Local News
KEYWORDS: bang; banglist; crime; donutwatch; leo; memphis; police; toygun
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What happened to the days where 12 year olds were supposed to come home, clean up, and eat dinner with the family when the street lights turned on?
1 posted on 06/24/2007 9:03:52 AM PDT by DCBryan1
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To: DCBryan1

I agree. It is tragic but why was he running the streets at 10pm.


2 posted on 06/24/2007 9:06:42 AM PDT by svcw (There is no plan B.)
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To: DCBryan1

Prayers up for the family and the cop.....just damn.


3 posted on 06/24/2007 9:06:55 AM PDT by DCBryan1 (Arm Pilots&Teachers. Build the Wall. Export Illegals. Profile Muslims.Kill all child molesters RFN!)
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To: DCBryan1
What happened to the days where 12 year olds were supposed to come home, clean up, and eat dinner with the family when the street lights turned on?

You're joking, right?

4 posted on 06/24/2007 9:09:47 AM PDT by SittinYonder (Ic ■Št gehate, ■Št ic heonon nelle fleon fotes trym, ac wille fur­or gan)
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To: svcw
why was he running the streets at 10pm.

Because 12 year old kids should be allowed to enjoy themselves? This wasn't "the streets" ... it's an apartment complex parking lot. What you said - "running the streets" - clearly implies the kid was doing something wrong, but all evidence from the story suggests he was just horsing around with his cousin.

I'm sure if this had been a nice suburban neighborhood and the kid's name was Kevin, you'd be outraged that the police shot him, even at 10 p.m.

5 posted on 06/24/2007 9:18:34 AM PDT by SittinYonder (Ic ■Št gehate, ■Št ic heonon nelle fleon fotes trym, ac wille fur­or gan)
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To: SittinYonder

You sir are an ass.
I never implied, you however inferred that I meant he was doing something wrong.
He was 12 and it was 10pm, why wasn’t he home with his family?

I am pretty sure I used the phrase “tragic”. It is a horrible price to pay for this young man, yet it does not answer the question why was he out at 10pm? Where was his family?


6 posted on 06/24/2007 9:30:48 AM PDT by svcw (There is no plan B.)
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To: svcw
Because 12 year old kids should be allowed to enjoy themselves?

"ENJOY themselves"?!! by running from cops and pointing guns (later found to be fake) at cops?

Sure sounds like you are a couple of fries short of a happy meal.

7 posted on 06/24/2007 9:35:08 AM PDT by DCBryan1 (Arm Pilots&Teachers. Build the Wall. Export Illegals. Profile Muslims.Kill all child molesters RFN!)
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To: SittinYonder
Because 12 year old kids should be allowed to enjoy themselves?

"ENJOY themselves"?!! by running from cops and pointing guns (later found to be fake) at cops?

Sure sounds like you are a couple of fries short of a happy meal.

Opps..Sorry svcw....

8 posted on 06/24/2007 9:36:06 AM PDT by DCBryan1 (Arm Pilots&Teachers. Build the Wall. Export Illegals. Profile Muslims.Kill all child molesters RFN!)
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To: DCBryan1

Glad for the oops..I was going to let you have it ;-).


9 posted on 06/24/2007 9:40:22 AM PDT by svcw (There is no plan B.)
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To: DCBryan1

Nonsense! Why, when I was 12 years old we used to run around at 10pm pointing realistic-looking guns at cops on stakeouts all the time! They just chuckled and said, “Kids...” (/sarc)


10 posted on 06/24/2007 9:48:27 AM PDT by A_perfect_lady
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To: DCBryan1
by running from cops and pointing guns (later found to be fake) at cops?

Did you read the story? They weren't running from cops and pointing guns. They were horsing around in an apartment complex parking lot, one of them had a toy gun. The cops jumped out of their car and drew down on two kids who were playing ... playing, not pointing toy guns at the cops or running from the cops ...

I'm not faulting the cops, necessarily, but to criticize this kid or his family because he was outside playing is foolish.

12 years old is not too young to be outside playing at 10 p.m. on a Friday night in the summer when you're spending the night at your cousin's house.

Read the story, it doesn't support your claim that they were "running from cops and pointing guns"

Kids play with toy guns, they yell when they're outside. There's nothing wrong with it ... unless you're one of those who thinks toy guns should be banned.

11 posted on 06/24/2007 9:53:20 AM PDT by SittinYonder (Ic ■Št gehate, ■Št ic heonon nelle fleon fotes trym, ac wille fur­or gan)
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To: svcw
You sir are an ass.

Maybe, but on the forum we're supposed to stay away from personal attacks, so I won't tell you what you are.

I never implied, you however inferred that I meant he was doing something wrong.

"Running the streets" has the implication that the kids were doing something wrong. Argue against it all day, but it does.

yet it does not answer the question why was he out at 10pm? Where was his family?

10 p.m. is not too late for a 12 year old to be outside playing with his cousin on a Friday in the summer. Either you don't have kids this age or your kids think you're an ass.

12 posted on 06/24/2007 9:56:44 AM PDT by SittinYonder (Ic ■Št gehate, ■Št ic heonon nelle fleon fotes trym, ac wille fur­or gan)
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To: DCBryan1
That's tragic. Poor kid. He paid a terrible price for ignoring the police officer's orders. Prayers up for the boy's loved ones and for the officer's and their loved ones.

Jesse Jackson is probably already on the way to Arkansas. The reason I say that is because he got thrown into jail in Chicago yesterday while he was protesting outside of a gun store. They were protesting that 35 school kids have been killed by guns since the first of the year. This will be a good chance for him to further his anti gun agenda!

13 posted on 06/24/2007 9:59:08 AM PDT by NRA2BFree ("The time is near at hand which must determine whether Americans are to be free men or slaves!")
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To: svcw; glock rocks; Brad's Gramma

Three days ago I called the local PD line to ask if childrens handguns today had magazines that go in the handle such as a Glock 17 or a SIG-Sauer P226 does. The dispatcher didn’t know. So I asked her to send an officer around because I had some youngsters about 10 or 12 playing with such a toy or maybe a weapon on the street. He was showing it to some other kids and I had no idea what their intentions were. One black gun and four young kids is what I saw.

Nobody was wearing a visible holster like we did when I used to play cowboys and indians with Moses and that gang who later built the Ark.

Fifteen minutes later a cop came by and I explained what I’d seen. He said it was probably an Airsoft, whatever that is, but he’d go locate the kid and check it out. Sure enough that’s what it was but from 50 feet away I couldn’t tell the difference.

If my wife had been out in front of the house I would have sent her inside immediately because of my lack of ability to determine what it was the kid had, a weapon or a toy. If the kid had aimed it at her back as she was walkiing towards the house, I hate to think what the results would have been.


14 posted on 06/24/2007 10:05:58 AM PDT by B4Ranch (Check out this website for the National Veterans Coalition http://www.nvets.org/)
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To: SittinYonder

Once again, you inferred I meant he was doing something wrong.

I disagree, that 10pm is not to late for a child to be out running around.

I have lots of kids, but I do wonder about your children and their behavior as well as their safety.

As a side note, I would not view ass as a personal attach just a statement of fact.


15 posted on 06/24/2007 10:08:04 AM PDT by svcw (There is no plan B.)
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To: DCBryan1

If it was to dark for the officer to see the child. Would that be a Black on Black crime?


16 posted on 06/24/2007 10:08:41 AM PDT by BigCinBigD (You "abort" bad missile launches and carrier landings. Not babies.)
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To: svcw; eyespysomething
Once again, you inferred I meant he was doing something wrong.

What does "running the streets" mean? If his cousin lives in an apartment complex, the parking lot is the kid's front yard.

I disagree, that 10pm is not to late for a child to be out running around.

Friday night in the summer, 12 yrs old, and you think 10 p.m. is too late to be outside?

I do wonder about your children and their behavior as well as their safety.

My children are very well behaved and plenty safe, so don't worry.

As a side note, I would not view ass as a personal attach just a statement of fact.

Fine, then you're an ass.

17 posted on 06/24/2007 10:19:44 AM PDT by SittinYonder (Ic ■Št gehate, ■Št ic heonon nelle fleon fotes trym, ac wille fur­or gan)
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To: SittinYonder

Now we are getting somewhere.


18 posted on 06/24/2007 10:23:33 AM PDT by svcw (There is no plan B.)
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To: B4Ranch

The Airsoft guns are replicas of real guns. Some are black, and other than the orange tip at the end are completely indistinguishable from a real gun. They have magazines just like real guns.

My kids have the clear plastic airsoft guns. One of them has a replica of a gun I own. I held the airsoft up to my gun and it is identical in size.

We won’t get them the black guns simply because they look so much like real guns. The clear ones, even from a distance, shouldn’t confuse anyone.

Do a google image search for airsoft and you’ll be astonished by how real they look.


19 posted on 06/24/2007 10:24:13 AM PDT by SittinYonder (Ic ■Št gehate, ■Št ic heonon nelle fleon fotes trym, ac wille fur­or gan)
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To: svcw
Now we are getting somewhere.

LOL ... I knew we'd come to an agreement ;-)

20 posted on 06/24/2007 10:25:26 AM PDT by SittinYonder (Ic ■Št gehate, ■Št ic heonon nelle fleon fotes trym, ac wille fur­or gan)
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