Riots broke out in Salt Lake City, Utah over the weekend after teenager Abdi Mohamed was shot by police for brandishing a broom handle according to reports. The riots have calmed since the shooting, but Mohamed is currently in a coma after being shot three times.
Local news outlet Fox 13 has provided in-depth coverage of the shooting and has released details of Salt Lake City police releasing a statement explaining the shooting in detail. According to their reports, Mohamed and an older man were fighting in the Rio Grande District on Saturday (Feb. 27) around 8 p.m. local time.
From Fox 13:
According to a press release from the Salt Lake City Police Department issued Sunday afternoon, officers witnessed two males with metal objects attacking a male victim around 8 p.m. in the area of 300 South Rio Grande Street.
The release states, “Officers confronted the two suspects and ordered them to drop the weapons. One of the males complied and dropped the weapon, the other continued to advance on the victim and was shot by officers.”
A witness to the shooting told FOX 13 News they believe police did not appear to give the teen a chance to surrender, which they said sparked outrage among crowds in the vicinity. There is a homeless shelter nearby, contributing to the high number of people on the streets.
“The police said, ‘drop it’, once, then they shot him four times,” Selam Mohammed said. “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, 17, hails from Kenya and has been living in the United States for 10 years. He is currently in critical condition. An investigation into the shooting is ongoing amid protests that erupted Saturday night and trickled into Sunday morning. Police in the shooting had activated body cameras on their person so a review of surveillance should be forthcoming.