Gun and bullets, shooting
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

A bullet still lodged in his back, the boy who was shot in error by a Los Angeles Police Officer in South L.A. earlier this week said in an interview published Friday that he wants an apology from the lawman who wounded him.

Jamar Nicholson, 15, was shot Tuesday morning while on his way to school as he stood in an alley near a youth holding a replica handgun. The youth with the replica weapon was the officer’s target, but the shot missed.

The officer was one of a group of criminal gang homicide officers in civilian garb conducting an investigation in the 7200 block of 10th Avenue, near Crenshaw Boulevard and Florence Avenue, about 7:45 a.m. Tuesday.

One officer called out to the youth with the replica weapon and ordered him to put it down, and when he didn’t, an officer-involved shooting occurred, the Los Angeles Police Department said Thursday, asserting multiple warnings were given before the shooting.

Nearby residents who said they heard the gunshots told The Times that they did not hear officers issue a warning to drop a weapon.

The department blamed the incident on the existence of realistic replica weapons.

In an interview with The Times, the wounded boy displayed a bandage across the upper right side of his back, showing where he was shot. The bullet remains lodged in his back, having narrowly missed his spine, according to The Times.

Jamar knew his friend was carrying an airsoft gun but had no idea whether his friend was pointing it in his direction, he told The Times. The boys were walking their normal route to school, when he heard someone yell, “Freeze!” Seconds later, he was shot.

Jamar told The Times he didn’t even realize he’d been wounded until he’d fallen to the ground. An ambulance arrived 15 to 20 minutes later, according to The Times.     He was hauled onto a gurney, handcuffed and then rushed to the hospital. The boy told the newspaper his cuffs weren’t unlocked until his release, when a detective approached him, told him there had been a mistake and acknowledged Jamar had not committed any crime.

An LAPD captain apologized to Jamar’s mother, The Times reported, but the teen said he wants to hear that directly from the officer who shot him.

“I don’t want to see him again … but I do want that ‘sorry,’” he said.

The shooting is under investigation by the LAPD’s Force Investigation Division.

—City News Service

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