Authorities in Brownsville, Texas, are standing behind the actions of their police officers after an eighth grader was shot and killed at a local middle school, while holding officers at bay with what appeared to be a handgun.
Cummings Middle School was put into lockdown Wednesday morning, while the officers attempted to get Jaime Gonzalez, 15, to drop the weapon.
The officers said Gonzalez pointed the gun at them, forcing them to take action. Three shots were fired by police and Gonzalez was hit twice, once in the head.
Police later discovered the weapon the teen was holding was only a pellet gun.
Gonzalez's parents say the officers acted too quickly and shouldn't have used lethal force. However, police say the gun looked like the real thing, and insisted their actions were appropriate for the situation.
Interim Brownsville Police Chief Orlando Rodriguez said the teen was pointing the weapon at officers and "had plenty of opportunities to lower the gun and listen to the officers' orders, and he didn't want to."
"Imminent threat of death to the officers or others is the threshold for whether to use deadly force," former FBI agent Brad Garrett explained.
"We commend the actions taken by all those involved," Rodriguez said. "Fortunately, no one else was hurt in this incident. And that's what we're grateful for."