Family disputes border officer’s story
By Terry Miller
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Detectives are continuing their investigation into the circumstances surrounding the officer-involved shooting involving a Customs and Border Protection Officer. The incident occurred on Friday, May 26, at 8:13 p.m. at North 1st Avenue and East Colorado Boulevard in the city of Arcadia.
A teenager who was shot and killed by an off-duty U.S. Custom and Border Protection officer, in what officials said was an alleged attempted robbery Friday, has been identified by authorities.
Darrius Smith, 15, of Pasadena, was pronounced dead at Methodist hospital at 5:30 a.m. on Saturday, according to officials. The shooting took place around the time of 8:15 p.m. in the area of Colorado Boulevard. and 1st Ave. after the off-duty officer was allegedly confronted by three teens with what appeared to be a weapon.
Detectives have learned that an off-duty Customs and Border Protection Officer was walking along the sidewalk on 1st Street south of Colorado Boulevard, Arcadia, when he was suddenly attacked from behind by three male subjects. One of the subjects hit him in the head several times while another subject pointed what appeared to be a handgun at the victim and demanded his property.
According to the LASD, “the victim thought the subjects were going to rob and shoot him so he retrieved his department issued handgun. The victim shot at the teen subjects in an effort to defend himself. The subject with the handgun, a male, Black, 15 years-old, was struck by gunfire. Another one of the subjects, a male, Black, 14 years-old, was also struck by gunfire. A third subject, a male, Black, 14 years-old, was not hit and ran away when the shooting started.”
Officers from the Arcadia Police Department responded and detained the victim and subjects. The subjects were transported to local hospitals to be treated for multiple gunshot wounds. The subject’s handgun was recovered at the scene.
The third subject was later located at a residence not far from the shooting scene. This subject was booked at East Lake Juvenile Center for robbery.
The subjects remain hospitalized for multiple gunshot wounds. The victim had some bruising to his face, which did not require medical treatment. According to a CBS news report, Reshawna Myricks, mother of the deceased, disputes the Border Protection officer’s account of the shooting.
“I’m hurt,” she told KCAL 9’s Cristy Fajardo. “I’m hurt! I’m hurt, I’m hurt. I’m hurt. You all robbed me to the core…”
The Sheriffs Department says the officer told them at about 8 p.m. Friday night that he got off the Gold Line and so did Smith and the other two teens. “Them boys didn’t do that,” Myricks maintains, “they aren’t those type of boys to do that,” Smith’s mother told a CBS newswoman. Investigators are hoping video footage from the Gold Line station at Arcadia will help with the investigation. The boy’s mother Reshawna Myricks said she cannot believe he’d be involved in a robbery. She said the officer should have fired warning shots instead of aiming at the boys.
The family attorney, Lee Merritt, said in a Facebook post Monday that: “Darius was executed.”
“…When you research the case you’ll hear three black boys (all 15 y/o) allegedly attempted to rob an off-duty officer. There are a few things that caused me to get on a plane and check this out for myself:
- Darius was executed. He was shot three times in the chest and twice in the legs (from the back as if he was running away).
- Charvis was shot in the hand and buttocks, running wounds as well.
- Despite multiple shots from the killer, not one shot was fired from the gun allegedly carried by these boys. (The reports are a toy gun was found near the scene). While he was emptying his clip, they appeared to be running for their lives.
- The so called robbery would have been taking place on one of the busiest stretches of highway in the region at 8 p.m. (Sun’s still shining) by boys who have to my knowledge never robbed anyone before.
I have questions. We demand justice.”
The Family has set up a funeral fundraising effort: https://www.youcaring.com/dariussmith-834928 Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500. If you prefer to provide information anonymously, you may call “Crime Stoppers” by dialing (800) 222-TIPS (8477).