By: The Associated Press September 20, 2017
McLEAN (AP) A Virginia police officer was justified in fatally shooting a 15-year-old boy who was advancing at him with a crowbar, a prosecutor ruled Tuesday.
Police on Tuesday identified the teen who was shot and killed Friday as Ruben Urbina of Haymarket.
At a press conference Tuesday, Prince William County Commonwealth’s Attorney Paul Ebert said the boy had mental problems and attempted suicide the night before.
On the day of the shooting, the boy called 911 and claimed to have a bomb strapped to his chest, Ebert said. During the call, Ebert said the boy indicated he was holding his mother hostage and was willing to be shot by police.
Family members were unaware the boy had called 911, according to police.
When county police arrived, Ebert said officers saw the boy strike his brother’s girlfriend with a crowbar.
Ebert said the boy, wearing a heavy jacket, then advanced at one of the officers with the 3-foot crowbar, getting to within 10 feet of him before the officer fired two shots.
The boy died at the scene. He did not have a bomb, but Ebert said officers found out after the shooting that he was also carrying a knife.
The boy’s father, Oscar Urbina, told local news outlets Tuesday that he does not believe the shooting was justified and that his slightly built son could have been subdued with a stun gun.
None of the four officers at the scene were injured. Police on Tuesday identified the officer who fired the shots as Robert Choyce, 35, a 7-year veteran. While Ebert has closed the criminal investigation of the shooting, Police Chief Barry Barnard said an internal investigation is ongoing, but that “at this stage in our administrative investigation, the officer acted appropriately in response to dynamic circumstances.”
A police spokesman said Choyce is white. The spokesman declined to characterize Urbina’s race.
The girl who was struck with the crowbar was treated at a hospital and released.
Ebert said that despite concerns about the young man, “there comes a point in time where police have to do what they have to do.”
Jacqueline A. Kramer
Attorney at Law