A 14-year-old burglary suspect was airlifted to the hospital early Tuesday after he was shot by a Pasadena ISD police officer.
The student, who was an 8th grader at Miller Intermediate School on Fairmont Parkway, broke into a portable classroom on the campus around 12:30 a.m.
An officer responding to the silent alarm said he caught the teen walking out with a backpack full of electronics. The officer said he could not tell the suspect’s age because he was wearing dark clothing and a hoodie.
The officer shouted several commands, but the suspect did not comply. The teen had his hands by his chest and the officer thought he had a gun, according to Pasadena Police Chief Bud Corbett. That is when the 17-year veteran officer, reportedly in fear for his safety, responded with a run of gun fire.
One of the bullets struck the teen in the chest and he was airlifted to Memorial Hermann Hospital in serious, but stable condition.
The teen did not have a gun.
“It’s tragic for everybody involved,” said Kirk Lewis, Pasadena ISD superintendent. “For the young man who was the suspect, obviously he was in a place where he shouldn’t have been, but you hope that these things never happen.”
Parents who learned of the shooting felt the officer’s actions were unnecessary.
“I’m very, very upset that he has been shot. Absolutely, I don’t see how deadly force was needed,” one woman said.
The officer has been placed on administrative leave while the investigation continues. The Pasadena ISD Police Department said this is the first officer-involved shooting they’ve had in 25 years.
“From what I understand he was very distraught upon finding this individual turned out to be a 14-year-old student,” Chief Corbett said.