For Amallia Gregory, many questions still remain on why her 16-year-old son was shot four times in the back by a Miami-Dade police officer early Monday.
“Why was he shot, not once, but four times? Why was he stopped for carrying something shiny? Why did the officer fire from behind, even if he was on the ground?” she said.
Gregory remains in critical but stable condition at Kendall Regional Medical Center’s Intensive Care Unit.
According to police, Sebastian Gregory of Southwest Miami-Dade reached for a baseball bat in his belt when an officer asked him to “show his hands.” The incident happened at about 3:30 a.m. on Southwest 72nd Street and 160th Avenue.
The teen was originally stopped while walking 10-blocks from his house because he had a “shiny object in his waistband,” Miami-Dade police spokeswoman Aida Fina-Milian said.
Three bullets have been removed from his back, but one remains in his spinal cord, his family said. Several of his organs were affected, including his liver, lungs and colon.
He underwent another surgery Tuesday morning.
But the reason why the gunshots were fired remain a mystery pending the outcome of an investigation into the shooting.For now, police declined to release the officer’s name or the incident report.
Here are sketchy details of what police said transpired between the officer and the teen: “The officer was on a routine patrol when the he spotted the man walking on the sidewalk with a shiny object in his waistband,” said Fina-Milian.
That’s when the officer ordered the teen to show his hands — and the teen reached for his bat, she said.
Amalia Gregory claims her son’s side of the story is different.
“Sebastian was told to get on the ground by the officer,” she said. “We don’t know if he twitched or made a gesture, but that’s when the cop shot him four times.”
Andres Gregory, the boy’s father, looks at his son with glassy eyes yet clenches his fists behind his back as he stands by his hospital bed.
“It makes me angry,” his father said. He paused. “He is 16.”
Gregory’s parents said they were asleep when Gregory left the house that night without telling them. They also said it’s normal for him to take nightly strolls and that many of the boy’s friends live in the general area where police stopped him.
They are not sure why he carried a bat that night. Gregory has been able to talk to his family, but is exhausted and drained. The teen’s parents said they are “saving those questions for later. “
Doctors told the family that Gregory seems to be stabilizing. However, it is still unknown whether he will be able to use his legs again.
This is Gregory’s first year being homeschooled. His parents said he got in a fight at school so it was “the best thing for him.”
The family said they are considering hiring an attorney to get some answers from police about the shooting.
“I hope this experience will enable us to grow, and he can use it to grow and mature,” Amalia Gregory said as she wiped a tear from her cheek. “He is a great boy, but teenagers go through stages.”