Unarmed Teen Killed By Police Cried: 'Mommy, Mommy, Please Come!'
An unarmed teen who died last week after police shot him in Long Beach cried out to his mother, "Mommy, mommy, please come!" just moments after the shooting.
Long Beach police said an officer shot 19-year-old Hector Morejon last Thursday in a vacant apartment located on the 1100 block of Hoffman Avenue because the officer believed the teen was armed with a gun, according to Press-Telegram. However, police later said that they weren't able to find a weapon at the apartment. Authorities were responding to a report around 2:45 p.m. that there was a trespassing and vandalism incident in the building. Police said that when they arrived, they saw Morejon standing in the apartment behind a window that was missing a screen. The officer thought that Morejon pointed a gun in their direction, and then fired at the teen, authorities said. Police didn't give him a verbal warning before shooting.
His mother, Lucia Morejon, was close by when Hector Morejon was shot. She lives just a few doors down from the complex where the shooting took place, and heard the gunshot. After hearing more noise, she went outside to check out what was happening and then saw her son inside an ambulance.
When Hector Morejon saw his mother, he yelled out to her, "Mommy, mommy, please come!" But those were the last words Lucia Morejon would hear her son, the youngest of her five children, say.
"He was reaching for her—reaching out to her for help," the family's lawyer Sonia Mercado told The Huffington Post. "She identified herself as his mother, expecting to ride with him to the hospital, but they refused to let her in."
Lucia Morejon asked police for more information, but she wasn't given any in return, according to a statement from the Morejon family. By the time she was able to see her son, he had already died at the hospital.
His mother is distraught and "deeply in shock," Mercado said. She added that police have given very little information to the family about the shooting, and won't tell them how many times police shot the teen.
Over the weekend, the Morejon family issued a statement asking the U.S. Department of Justice or another police department to do an in-depth investigation "to determine how and why an unarmed teenage kid was killed," according to the L.A. Times. While the Long Beach police said they are having the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office conduct an independent investigation, the family believes there's a conflict of interest. "How can they investigate themselves?" Mercado told the Times.
The family is also asking that authorities release the name and badge number of the officer involved in the shooting, and that the officer gets suspended.
Police said they found gang-related graffiti inside of the home after the shooting. They also arrested four others in the incident: Edgar and German Rodarte, ages 20 and 21, respectively, and Yesenia Pineda, 22, and Ceclia Cox, 22. However, the family says Hector Morejon was not in a gang. Their statement said that linking him to a gang "reflects the police department's immediate tactic to attempt to make the victim of a police killing (here Hector) appear like a bad person. Hector was a sweet son and favored little brother."
Anyone with information regarding this shooting is urged to contact the Long Beach Police Homicide Detail at 562-570-7244.