Police in Ames, Iowa began pursuing 19-year-old Tyler Comstock after his father, James, reported the van he was driving as stolen. By the time the chase ended, Tyler was dead, shot six times by Ames police officer Adam McPherson.
But the van wasn’t stolen, according to James Comstock, it was borrowed by his son, who wanted to buy cigarettes.
“He took off with my truck. I call the police, and they kill him,” James Comstock toldThe Des Moines Register. “It was over a damn pack of cigarettes. I wouldn’t buy him none.”
Police chased Tyler Comstock onto the Iowa State University campus and set up a blockade that resulted in Comstock ramming Officer McPherson’s vehicle. McPherson ordered Comstock to shut off his truck, and when he refused to comply, McPherson shot at him six times.
The Iowa medical examiner’s office says he was killed by two gunshot wounds to the chest.
Comstock’s family is livid over what they believe is an overreaction by the police, whose own dispatchers were pleading with officers to “back off” in their pursuit.
Tyler Comstock’s step-grandfather, Gary Shepley, told The Register that the police are “trained to handle these situations. And if they panic before they even know what’s going on, then ask yourself: What if it was your child?”
“So he didn’t shut the damn truck off, so let’s fire six rounds at him?” he asked. “We’re confused, and we don’t understand.”
Watch the dashboard camera footage from the officer who shot Tyler Comstock below.
Listen to the police scanner audio acquired by The Register below.
Updated at 1:00 p.m. EST to include dashboard footage.
Scott Eric Kaufman is the proprietor of the AV Club's Internet Film School and, in addition to Raw Story, also writes for Lawyers, Guns & Money. He earned a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of California, Irvine in 2008.
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