The family of 15-year-old Darius Smith, who was shot and killed by an off-duty U.S. Customs and Border Patrol Agent in Arcadia, Calif., Friday, May 26, are questioning details surrounding their loved one’s death.
Smith and two 14-year-old boys reportedly tried to rob the agent at gunpoint that evening as they all exited the train, CBS Los Angeles reported. The unidentified agent, who works at San Francisco International Airport and lives in Arcadia, told authorities he was forced to shoot in self-defense as the juveniles attacked him from behind. He suffered a few bruises, but police said he didn’t require any medical treatment.
Meanwhile, Smith was hospitalized as a result of the shooting but succumbed to his injuries the following morning. The teen’s 14-year-old cousin also was shot, while the third boy was not wounded.
Reshawna Myricks, Smith’s mother, has since rejected the agent’s account of what happened, arguing that her son and his friends wouldn’t have tried to rob anyone.
“Them boys didn’t do that,” Myricks told CBS Los Angeles. “They aren’t those type of boys to do that. First, [police] said there was no crime committed; now, there is a crime committed,” she added. “Now it’s a gun; then they said there was a fight. I don’t know what to believe.
“All I know is my baby [is] gone and I’ll never know his story.”
The local Sheriff’s Department said the border agent told them he was attacked around 8 p.m. Friday after he exited the Gold Line, noting that the three youths had gotten off, too. That’s when the boys reportedly attacked the man from behind, as Smith pulled a gun on the agent, while one of the other teens hit him in the head and demanded money.
The agent said he then reached for his own weapon, fatally shooting Smith and wounding his cousin. The third teen, he said, fled the scene but was later arrested.
“I’m hurt,” Smith’s mother told the news station. “I’m hurt! I’m hurt, I’m hurt. I’m hurt. You all robbed me to the core.”
“[They’re] going to walk home; they’re going to see their kids tonight,” Myricks continued. “I got to go back and tell my other three that one of them ain’t coming back no more.”
Police said the border agent suffered bruises to his face and that investigators recovered a replica handgun at the scene. Still, Smith’s family is calling for the officer to face criminal charges.
“Darius Smith was executed,” said attorney Lee Merritt, who’s representing the family. “He was not in the midst of a robbery. He was shot twice in the legs first. [He fell] and his shooter got over him and shot him three times in the chest. That’s murder. That’s not subduing the robbery.”
The two teens who survived now face robbery charges.