The federal agent who shot and killed a 20-year-old fugitive in Detroit in April did so in self-defense, Wayne County prosecutor Kym Worthy said Wednesday.
Ms. Worthy said Mitchell Quinn, who works for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, would not be charged.
Accounts of what happened vary depending on whom you ask. Police state that Officer Quinn shot Terrance Kellom, a young man wanted for armed robbery, after he charged at the agent with a hammer during a raid of his father’s home. Agent Quinn was placed on paid administrative leave after the shooting and has since returned to duty.
Mr. Kellom's father, Kevin Kellom, has vehemently denied claim that his son was brandishing a weapon. He showed up to the announcement of the decision wearing a T-shirt that read, “HANDS UP, NO HAMMER,” and told reporters afterward, “My son was assassinated.”
“You have young black men being killed by these police officers, and [they are] literally getting away with it,” he continued. “It's upsetting, that's my son. It hurts.”
Throughout the past year, a series of high-profile police shootings of black men across the United States have spurred a rash of protests and an ongoing national debate about the use of force by law enforcement.
Worthy said at a news conference that evidence showed the agent’s actions were “justified by the laws of self-defense,” according to the AP. Both she and Quinn are also black.
“Yes, black lives matter,” Worthy said, in reference to the Black Lives Matter movement that gained momentum following the 2014 death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. “Of course they matter. But you know what else matters? Credible facts matter ... Doing justice matters and the truth matters.”
Worthy, who presented the evidence of the police investigation to the public, said that dozens of pieces of evidences were collected and 17 people were interviewed, some several times, reported The Detroit Free Press.
The findings concluded that Kellom had been armed with a hammer and ignored warnings to stop, she said. He was shot four times.
His father’s lawyer, Karri Mitchell, told the AP there should have been an independent investigation. The family plans to file a civil lawsuit.
Agent Quinn's attorney, David Griem, said he was prepared for further legal action.
There will be “no settlement,” said Mr. Griem.
This report contains material from The Associated Press.