Armed 8th Grade Boy Shot and Killed by Texas Police

Molly Bond and Molly Bond

Yesterday, January 3, 2012, in Brownsville, Texas, an eighth grade boy, Jaime Gonzalez, was shot by police for having possession of a what appeared to be a handgun in school. Upon further investigation, the “weapon” turned out to be a pellet gun.

The police were notified around 8 o’clock a.m., and arrived at the school shortly after, where Gonzalez “engaged” the officers in the hallway. Three shots were fired by the officers, and the student was proclaimed dead shortly after, at the hospital.

The scene of the event, Cummings Middle School, went into lockdown for two hours afterward, and nobody, students nor faculty, was allowed to leave. At around 10:30 a.m., the students were transported to a neighboring park, where anxious parents could then pick them up.

Investigators have found no apparent reason for Gonzalez’s behavior, and Brownsville Superintendent Carl Montoya recalls Gonzalez as “a very positive young man.”

“He did music. He worked well with everybody. Just something unfortunately happened today that caused his behavior to go the way it went.  So I don’t know,” added Montoya.

Interim Police Chief Orlando Rodriguez said that Gonzalez did not fire a single shot, but “had plenty of opportunities to lower the gun and listen to the officers’ orders, and he didn’t want to.”

If the student did not shoot, then why did the officers feel the need to fire at him? Simply because he was acting menacingly?

The question is, who is at fault here? The obviously troubled boy who brought a weapon to school, but did not exhibit any violent behavior before the police showed up? Or the officers, who killed a young man with no previous criminal record? That conclusion can only be ,ade by the individual, but investigations on the event are currently underway.