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September 28, 2003

Family Questions Officer Shooting

From: KXLY, WA - Sept 28, 2003

There is controversy over the shooting death of a 15-year-old Spokane boy. Family members are speaking out about the incident, calling it a panicked and bad decision.

Family members of 15-year-old Eagle Michael say he made a bad choice when he stole a case of beer. However, they stress the situation should not have escalated into a shooting.

According to police, the officer stopped Eagle along with three other suspects and ordered them to sit on the curb. Eagle didn't follow the officer's orders. Family members say that is because he was completely deaf, and he couldn't hear the officers instructions. Eagle was a freshman at the Idaho School for the Deaf and Blind.

Police say the officer shot Eagle once in the head after he pulled a gun from his waistband and began pointing it. Family members say it was a BB gun.

Family members say they understand the officer had to make a split second decision, but they think she made the wrong decision.

"Granted he was going to be a good man, but he wasn't there yet, he was just a boy," Explained Dixie Stensgar, Eagle's aunt.

"What I don't understand is why he wasn't maybe wounded," furthered Lovinia Alexander, Eagle's aunt.

Family members say Eagle played on the football and basketball teams at school in Boise. He also liked to write, draw but most of all he liked spending time with his family.

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