When Georgia police set out on a routine visit to the home of Christopher Roupe, something went horribly wrong. One of the officers shot and killed the teenage boy by firing a single shot to his chest when he opened the door. Though conflicting reports have come up, the officer thought the teen was armed with a gun, but the family’s lawyer and witnesses say he was only holding a Wii remote controller.
Roupe, a 17-year-old, was shot and killed last Friday night. One of the two Euharlee, Georgia police officers came to his home to serve a probation violation warrant to his father. The female officer never got a chance to fulfill that duty, however. She claims that she heard firearm action within the house, drew her gun before the door was opened and fired the shot to protect herself.
She immediately shot the teenager in the chest. After one shot, she headed away from the house and called for medical assistance, Then she buried her face in her hands and cried, according to eyewitnesses. He was taken to the hospital in Carters ville, Georgia, where he was pronounced dead.
Cole Law, the family’s lawyer, is speaking out on the family’s behalf. He says the story “doesn’t add up.” Eyewitnesses say that the teen did not have a weapon, but a Nintendo Wii remote. Supposedly the officer knocked, but when Roupe asked who was there, she did not respond. He proceeded to the door and when he opened it, he was immediately shot in the chest. The officer did not question him about the supposed gun or ask him to stand down. While the gaming device may have appeared to be a weapon, the officer did not take the time to assess the situation before reacting.
Roupe’s father, brother and sister were home at the time of the incident. Neighbors report that he was a good kid who never got into trouble and he was likely playing video games when the officer arrived at the house. One neighbor, Carol Yates, thought he might have had a trying to joke with a friend by holding a BB gun in his hand. He had no way of knowing that the police were at his door. Yates also knows the officer involved and says she is also a good person. She claims it was just a “misunderstanding.”
The teenager was an active member of the ROTC and attended Woodland High school. According to his friends, he had plans of joining the U.S. Marine Corps. after graduating. Law said that “the story that he pointed a gun at the officer defies everything we know about him.”
The officer who fired the shot is on administrative leave. Her identity has not been shared by the department. The shooting that took place on Feb. 14 is under investigation by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. They are looking at whether the use of force was necessary and will give the results of their investigation to the district attorney. Georgia police stand by the officer’s account, however, who claims that the teenager was armed and had the weapon aimed directly at her.
By Tracy Rose: