Prosecutors Office Says Teen Killed By Grandview Police Was Carrying A BB Gun
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.”
Officer Involved Shooting, one person injured, no officers injured.@GrandviewMOPD received a 911 call at approx 6:45a this morning. An apparent suicidal male reported he was armed w/ a handgun & wanted to confront officers at a local park.— MSHP Troop A (@MSHPTrooperA) May 16, 2021
Officers arrived at the park & saw... pic.twitter.com/STBfxJ4Wfx
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.