Family of Teen Who Police Say Shot Himself While Handcuffed Want Answers
The family of an Akron, Ohio teen who police say killed himself while in their custody have a lot of questions for the arresting officers.
Chief among them: how did 17-year-old Xavier McMullen shoot himself in the head while his hands were cuffed behind his back?
After being arrested in connection with a robbery, the Summit County Medical Examiner reports Xavier shot himself while sitting in the back of the patrol car.
The deceased teen's brother, 29-year-old Greg Wiley, is finding this scenario very difficult to believe and demands answers.
"I don’t believe he killed himself. I can’t,” Grey told reporters, according to cleveland.com.
“But maybe, if he had a gun on him, he was trying to get it off of him and while wiggling and struggling, the trigger pulled.
"I’d understand a gunshot wound to his back, stomach, something like that. But not the head—how is that possible?”
Greg also wonders how his brother happened to find himself in the patrol car with a weapon still on his person.
“Why wasn’t he patted down properly?” Greg repeatedly asked. “The cops did not do their job. I feel the cops took my brother.”
Xavier was apprehended after he and two others allegedly robbed two women at gunpoint.
The boy and two 18-year-olds were later arrested three blocks away and placed in separate police vehicles.
Police captain Jesse Leeser did not say whether Xavier had been patted down before he was cuffed and placed in the car, and would not give a clear response on what department procedure requires.
"It all depends on the circumstances, " he said. "It's hard just to say every time you do it this way."
At this time, none of the six officers involved in the arrest is on administrative leave, though the suspect death is under investigation by Akron detectives.
Meanwhile, Xavier's family continues to struggle with the loss.
"Enough violence is going on around us. We want the real truth," his grieving brother told reporters.
“Someone needs to pay the consequences. There needs to be justice.”