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Family of police shooting victim calls for ‘a full, swift and transparent investigation’

The family of the 19-year-old man who was shot and killed by Boston police Monday is calling for “a full, swift and transparent investigation” into what happened, according to their attorney.
The family of the 19-year-old man who was shot and killed by Boston police Monday is calling for “a full, swift and transparent investigation” into what happened, according to their attorney.Erin Clark for The Boston Globe
Jaymil Ellerbe.
Jaymil Ellerbe.Michael Tumposky

The family of the 19-year-old man who was shot and killed by Boston police Monday is calling for “a full, swift and transparent investigation” into what happened, their attorney said.

Jaymil Ellerbe’s family released the statement through lawyer Michael Tumposky on Thursday morning.

“The family of Jaymil Ellerbe mourns the tragic killing of their son, grandson, nephew, and brother,” the statement read. “Regardless of the circumstances of his death, the family deserves a full, swift and transparent investigation. We applaud the decision of the Suffolk County DA to assign this case to an independent investigator from the Discharge Integrity Team. We further call upon the Boston Police and the Office of the Medical Examiner to promptly release to the family all information concerning the death of Jaymil, including reports, video footage and the autopsy.”

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Ellerbe was fatally shot on Penhallow Street in Dorchester on Monday afternoon in what authorities described as an exchange of gunfire, and a .357 revolver was recovered from the scene. According to Boston Police Commissioner William Gross, Ellerbe shot at two police officers, and the officers returned fire. Gross said the officers had ordered Ellerbe to drop the gun several times before shooting him.

Leonard Lee, a longtime Dorchester resident, said he witnessed the shooting.

Lee said he had just sat down for dinner when he heard someone shouting outside his window: “Put the gun down!”

The officers screamed that several times, Lee said. “Put the gun down, put the gun down,’’ he said.

When Lee looked outside, he said he saw a teenager, later identified by police as Ellerbe, holding a handgun and backing away from the officers.

Lee said he saw the officers get off their bikes, imploring the teenager to put the gun down.

Lee said he also began screaming. “They are going to kill you. Put the gun down. Put the [expletive] gun down.”

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Lee said he saw the man fire two shots in the direction of the officers, and the officers ducked for cover behind Lee’s brown Volvo, which was parked on the street.

Lee said Ellerbe continued to walk backward down the street while facing the officers.

Ellerbe, who continued to walk backward away from the officers, stopped at a small tree, and took two more shots at the police, and that was when, Lee said, the officers returned fire.

One of the shots appeared to hit the 19-year-old in the leg. He fell, grabbing his left leg, Lee said, but he kept holding the gun, which was pointed to the sky.

The officers, along with Lee, repeated their plea: Drop the gun.

But Lee said he saw the teenager point the weapon at the officers. Then there were gunshots.

He saw the teenager jerk as though he had been hit in the stomach and then in the left shoulder. Then he was still.

Lee said one of the officers ran toward Ellerbe, used his hand to knock away the gun, and began performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation on the teen.

“Come on. Hang in there,’’ the officer said, according to Lee.

Then Lee heard him say, “He’s deceased.”


Emily Sweeney can be reached at esweeney@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @emilysweeney.