PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, VA. (WUSA9) - Prince William County prosecutors said the shooting of a 15-year-old holding a crowbar was justified, adding that the teen refused at least five times to drop the crowbar when police arrived at his home Friday.
On Tuesday, police identified the 15-year-old as Ruben Urbina.
Commonwealth's Attorney Paul B. Ebert said he did not believe deadly force could have been avoided, noting the teen was wearing a jacket and implied explosives could have been underneath.
"It's always tragic when a young person loses his life... But there comes a time when police have to do their jobs," Ebert said. "[The teenager] said he would have no objection to police shooting him."
Ebert (D) added the teen held a crowbar three feet in length and was seen beating his brother's girlfriend by responding law enforcement.
Police converged on the Haymarket neighborhood Friday after the teen called 911 and said he was holding his mother hostage with a knife.
Officers also received information en route that the 15-year-old could have a bomb inside the townhome.
One of four responding officers opened fire approximately 10 feet away from the Battlefield High School student, Ebert said.
In an interview Tuesday, Oscar Urbina, the teenager’s father, said police gravely misjudged the situation and thought officers would have been able to subdue his son – a young man standing 5-feet-tall.
“Lives have been destroyed,” Urbina said. “The community doesn’t know my other son told the police to stop, that my brother was having a hard time.”
Urbina decried the lack of body cameras on Prince William officers, technology that authorities said would be available to the county’s police force by Christmas.
“He was a straight A student, I was so proud to show his numbers,” Urbina said.
Family said they are in the process of hiring a lawyer, with the grief hitting in waves.
“Right now, I’m dead on the inside,” Urbina said. “I’m holding on for tomorrow’s funeral. But after that, I don’t know, I’m afraid.”
But through his anguish, the teenager’s father said he forgives the officer who opened fire.
“I have a letter I’ve written, called a letter of forgiveness,” Urbina said. “I woke up in the middle of the night, unable to sleep, and I wrote it.”
Urbina added that he would release the letter when he felt the time is right, and broke down at his front door remembering his son on a family vacation only weeks ago.
“We were in Mexico, a wonderful summer,” he said. “I saved for college for 15 years for him to have a bright future, and now, nothing.”
First responders performed CPR in front of the home, but the teenager was pronounced dead at the scene.
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