Armed teen dead following confrontation with police - FOX 13 News

Armed teen dead following confrontation with police

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Tampa Police say Neal, 16, was armed with this weapon when they encountered him Sunday night at the Central Court apartment complex. Tampa Police say Neal, 16, was armed with this weapon when they encountered him Sunday night at the Central Court apartment complex.
TAMPA (FOX 13) -

Tampa Police say two officers shot and killed a 16-year-old boy Sunday night after they say he refused to drop a weapon.

Javon Neal was pronounced dead at St. Joseph's Hospital from injuries sustained in the shooting that occurred at approximately 7:20 p.m.

According to investigators, officers were dispatched to the Central Court apartment complex in response to reports of an individual firing a gun in the area.     

When officers arrived on scene they encountered a person who matched the description of the shooter. Detectives say when the suspect saw the officers he began to walk in the other direction.

They allegedly asked him to stop but he reportedly took off running.

As he headed towards an outdoor staircase in the apartment building officers say they could see him pulling something from the leg of his pants.

One of the TPD officers reportedly gave him an order to stop and to show his hands.

A short time later, investigators was shot in the third-floor stairwell.

"When he got to the third floor he turned towards the officers and at that point he was armed with a pistol gripped assault style shotgun," explained TPD Public Information Officer Laura McElroy. "The officers were in fear for their lives. They gave orders for him to drop the weapon. When he did not comply, they fired in self defense."

Several alleged eyewitnesses paint a much different picture of what transpired. A large, angry crowd gathered at the scene voicing frustration at the shooting of Neal.

"He was only 16 years old, just beginning life," the boy's mother said. "Not right. Not right."

Valenica Hopps claims she witnessed the entire incident.

"I seen them [the officers] tell him, I guess they must have threatened him and told him if he don't drop the weapon, I mean if he don't stop running, they was going to shoot him," Hopps claimed. "So he threw his hands up just like this and there was one on this side and there was one on this side, and they emptied out their clips on him."

The TPD officers have been identified as 36-year-old Gregory Pryor and 35-year-old Shannon Murphy. Authorities would not say if both officers fired on Neal or how many times they fired.

Both Pryor and Murphy have been placed on paid administrative leave as is the protocol in such cases.

Pryor has been with the department for five years and Murphy is a nine-year veteran.

The investigation will continue Monday.

FOX 13's April Kellogg contributed to this report.

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