A father’s attempt to teach his son a lesson for taking his truck without permission ended in tragedy Monday after a local police officer shot the teenager dead.
James Comstock told the Des Moines Register he called the police on his son Tyler after the latter took the former’s truck in retaliation for refusing to buy him cigarettes.
Ames Police Officer Adam McPherson reportedly spotted the lawn care company vehicle and pursued it onto the Iowa State University campus, where a brief standoff ensued after Tyler allegedly refused orders to turn off the engine.
McPherson eventually fired six shots into the truck, two of which struck Tyler who was later pronounced dead.
The official report claims the action was necessary in order “to stop the ongoing threat to the public and the officers.”
Tyler’s dad says he was unarmed at the time.
“So he didn’t shut the damn truck off, so let’s fire six rounds at him?” exclaimed Gary Shepley, Tyler’s step-grandfather. “We’re confused, and we don’t understand.”
James said his son had his fair share of minor troubles with the law, and was distraught over a recent breakup with his girlfriend, but was in the process of turning his life around, and was working on obtaining his GED at Des Moines Area Community College.
“He was a smart kid. He made his own computers. He was interested in IT,” James told the Register.
The family’s demands for answers got even louder following the revelation that a member of the Ames police department suggested twice that officers call off the chase.
“He took off with my truck. I call the police, and they kill him,” James said. “”It was over a damn pack of cigarettes.”
McPherson is currently on paid leave pending the results of his department’s investigation.