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Prosecutors Office Says Teen Killed By Grandview Police Was Carrying A BB Gun

The Jackson County Prosecutor's Office says Lantz Stephenson, Jr, 17, was carrying a Glock 19 BB gun without an orange tip when he was shot by Grandview Police early Sunday morning.

Lantz Stephenson, Jr., 17, was reportedly acting suicidal in the park Sunday morning and aggressively approached police with what law enforcement initially described as a "handgun."

A 17-year-old who was shot and killed by Grandview police Sunday was carrying a BB gun, according to the Jackson County Prosecutor's office.

Lantz Stephenson, Jr. died after police were called to Meadowmere Park early Sunday morning, where he was reportedly acting suicidal. He confronted them with what the Missouri State Highway Patrol described on Twitter as a “handgun.”

Two officers fired shots, hitting him. Stephenson died shortly after being taken to a local hospital.

According to The Kansas City Star, Stephenson himself placed the call to police.

Mike Mansur, spokesman for the prosecutor's office, says Stephenson was holding a BB gun modeled after a Glock 19 handgun. Mansur said the BB gun that Stephenson carried closely resembles the popular Glock handgun, but does not have an orange tip like many toy weapons.

This is far from the first time police have mistaken a toy firearm. In April, a 16-year-old boy armed with a knife and airsoft gun was killed by Maryland state troopers.

In 2019, 14-year-old boy carrying an airsoft rifle was fatally shot by Tempe, Arizona police.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol is investigating the shooting.

As KCUR’s general assignment reporter and visual journalist, I bring our audience inside the daily stories that matter most to the people of the Kansas City metro, showing how and why events affect residents. Through my photography, I seek to ensure our diverse community sees itself represented in our coverage. Email me at carlos@kcur.org.
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