An investigation is underway after a North Miami Police officer shot and killed a mentally handicapped man who was carrying a toy rifle.
Police were called on Wednesday when neighbors saw the man, identified as 56-year-old Ernest Vasell, wandering a neighborhood with what appeared to be a rifle, according to CBS Miami. When officers arrived on the scene after frantic 911 calls, there was a confrontation, shots were fired and Vasell was killed.
Subsequently police have stated the rifle was in fact a toy and at least one officer is on paid administrative leave.
Vassell’s family has said he was mentally disabled after a childhood brain injury, and had no history of violence. His family is now demanding answers. Claire Harding, Vassell’s older sister, said to CBS Miami:
“They should train these police officers better, this is ridiculous, they just go around killing people for nothing.”
Watch the full story from CBS Miami, during which one newscaster explained “Police say they were forced to fire because a man was terrorizing the neighborhood.”