A wake was held on Thursday for Jamie Gonzalez, the 8th-grader who was shot and killed by police at Cummings Middle School in Brownsville Texas on Wednesday. Police were called after Jamie was spotted with a gun, and, after he refused to drop it when ordered by police, he was shot three times. The gun, police said, was actually a pellet gun.
The Associated Press spoke with Rev. Jorge Gomez, who officiated the wake, and said that many parents from the school are calling him for advice, saying their children are experiencing nightmares, fevers or just needed to speak with someone. He said that he's had people coming to see him ever since the shooting occurred.
Probably the last (child) left at midnight, Gomez told the AP. The parents are very concerned. How is this going to affect the community and their kids?
Police chief Orlando Rodriguez defended the actions of his officers, telling the AP that the boy pointed the pellet gun, which was black and looked just like a real one, at the officers. The autopsy revealed that he was shot two times in the torso. And while it was original reported that he was shot in the back of the head, that wound, it turns out, was from a fall. That distinction doesn't make a difference to Jamie's father, Jamie Gonzalez Sr., though. It really doesn't change anything at all, he said. If it is a wound from his fall, why shoot him at all? Wound him. Do something else. Use another method.
According to the AP, in the 911 tape released on Thursday, police can be heard saying Put the gun down! Put it on the floor! In the background, someone else yells, He's saying that he is willing to die.
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Jamie's father did not know where he got the pellet gun from, and police believe he was given it as a gift. The police involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure in police shootings.