The Associated Press reports that a grand jury has decided that an officer should not face any charges for shooting a 13-year-old boy during a chase in Elkhart, Indiana that occurred on May 7. Norfolk South officer Kyle Perry shot and wounded the boy when he led police on a car chase that day.
The boy was a runaway and had stolen a car when an officer tried to pull him over for dangerous driving. A chase ensued for two miles before Perry assisted another officer by blocking the runaway car. He shot seven shots at the driver as the car accelerated back toward him.
Prosecutors told the press in May that the boy was struck in the shoulder area, but did not give further details other than his injuries were serious but non-life-threatening.
Early in the afternoon hours on the day in question, an Elkhart city police officer attempted to conduct a traffic stop. Perry heard the scanner traffic and was in the area, so showed up to assist the officer. The shooting was investigated by the Indiana State Police and Perry was placed on administrative leave.
The prosecutor told the press the boy would likely face felony charges for fleeing the officers, but did not say whether he had a weapon. The officers did not know the age of the perpetrator when Perry fired the shots.
Norfolk Southern Railroad Police have full powers of law enforcement in Indiana. However, Norfolk Southern puts its own officers through training. Perry did have former experience as an Elkhart County Sheriff’s Department officer and received certification training, according to the prosecutor.
At first it was unclear whether the use of force was necessary in the situation, but the grand jury has determined that it was warranted in this case.
*Photo credit Santiago Flores