Family of teen killed by customs agent wants criminal charges

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The family of a 15-year-old boy who was shot and killed in a suspected armed robbery by an off-duty customs agent said they don't believe the narrative. (KABC)

The family of a 15-year-old boy who was shot and killed in a suspected robbery attempt by an off-duty customs agent said they don't believe the narrative.

Darius Smith was with two 14-year-old friends at First Avenue and Colorado Boulevard in Arcadia Friday night. An off-duty U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agent said the teens attacked him from behind.

The agent, who works in San Francisco but lives in Arcadia, said he was hit in the head while one of the teens tried to rob him at gunpoint. The off-duty agent fired his gun to defend himself, according to authorities, and struck two of the teens.

Darius was hospitalized and died the next morning, while the other teen was injured. The third teen, who was not hit, fled the scene on foot and was later taken into custody.

Smith's family wants the officer, who was not arrested, to face criminal charges.
"Darius Smith was executed. 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," attorney Lee Merritt said.

He and members of Black Lives Matter said young black men are often portrayed as criminals and that is not the case, especially in Darius' situation.

The two teens who were with Darius face robbery charges. Darius' family and attorney believe those charges should be dropped.

The customs agent said was walking on a sidewalk when he was attacked from behind by the boys - two 14-year-olds and Smith, authorities said. One of the assailants allegedly repeatedly struck the agent in the head as another pointed a gun at him and demanded his property.

"The victim thought the subjects were going to rob and shoot him so he retrieved his department-issued handgun," said sheriff's Deputy Caroline Rodriguez. "The victim shot at the subjects in an effort to defend himself."

The agent suffered bruising to his face but did not require medical attention. The agency has not commented or released the name of the agent.
The wounded suspects each sustained multiple gunshot wounds and were transported to a hospital.

Arcadia police officers recovered a handgun allegedly held by Smith at the scene, deputies said.

The boy who ran from the scene was subsequently found at a nearby home and taken into custody. He was booked at Central Juvenile Hall in Boyle Heights on suspicion of robbery.

City News Service contributed to this report.

Related Topics:
newsshootingteen killedteenagersborder patrolarmed robberyu.s. & worldCalifornia
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