MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A mother is trying to understand why four Crystal Police officers shot her son, who she says is mentally ill.
“They were trying to kill my son, like deliberately trying to kill him,” Naomi Thompson said.
Khaleel Thompson is in the hospital with serious injures Thursday night. Investigators say the 18-year-old was holding an airsoft pellet gun with a black-painted tip when officers shot him, but his mother believes her son was targeted.
“I can’t even go into the hospital without falling apart, seeing my son,” she said.
Naomi Thompson says it’s hard to see her son unconscious and barely clinging to life.
“They’re saying this man pulled a gun out on police and they had to shoot him — they had to shoot him for their safety,” she said “He just turned 18 a couple of months ago. He’s still in high school.”
Thompson is speaking out because she says the narrative police are giving about what happened between officers and her son is not true.
Witness recorded the sound of gunfire coming from Basset Creek Park in Crystal Wednesday morning. Police say a man with a gun would not drop his weapon, and officers fired because they feared for their lives.
“He had a Nerf airsoft gun,” she said. “It’s, like, made out of foam.”
Thompson says her son is living with a mental illness. She says just 12 hours before he was shot, His friends reached out for help.
“His friends called the police in Crystal. They told them that he was suicidal,” she said. “They waited 12 hours for the police to show up, and when they got there they did nothing.”
Thompson says friends who were with her son say he was no threat to officers.
“He never pointed the gun at them,” she said. “He was just walking around, just out of it, and just holding it. But when they had threatened to shoot him, That’s when he tried to put it down. He tried a couple of times, but he was scared.”
Investigators say Thompson pointed the gun at police. They also say they tried non-lethal rounds, but Thompson kept pointing the gun.
Thompson says her son has a history of attempting suicide and Crystal police knew who they were engaging with when they entered the park. She says her son was shot in the head and stomach.