James Comstock’s plan to hold his son accountable for his actions went horribly wrong when the 19-year-old was shot and killed by local police.
The Des Moines Register reports that Comstock called police after his son Tyler took his truck when he refused to buy the teen cigarettes. Authorities spotted the vehicle and followed it onto the Iowa State University campus. Tyler was ordered to turn off the truck’s engine, but he refused to do so. After a short standoff, Ames Police Officer Adam McPherson fired six shots into the truck. Tyler was hit by two of the shots. He was later pronounced dead on the scene.
The teen’s father says he was unarmed at the time. And his family is struggling to understand why deadly force was used in the incident. "So he didn't shut the damn truck off, so let's fire six rounds at him?" said Tyler's step-grandfather Gary Shepley. "We're confused, and we don't understand."
The police report says that "to stop the ongoing threat to the public and the officers," the actions were deemed a necessary response. But after it was revealed that a member of the Ames police department suggested that the officers call off the chase twice, the family is even more determined to get answers from authorities.
"He took off with my truck. I call the police, and they kill him," Comstock said. "It was over a damn pack of cigarettes." He admits that his son had experienced a few minor issues with the law. But he added that Tyler “was a smart kid” who “was interested in IT” and working on his GED at Des Moines Area Community College.
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An investigation has been launched by the department and McPherson is currently on paid leave.