Police say a Weymouth teen is in stable condition after being shot early this morning in front of his home when he attacked an officer with a large steak knife.
Weymouth police Captain Joseph C. Comperchio Jr. said during a news conference that officers responded to the 16-year-old boy's apartment on Memorial Drive about 1 a.m. after receiving a call for a distraught teen armed with a knife.
Comperchio said officers repeatedly told the youth, whom he did not identify, to drop the knife, but he refused and continued to walk toward one officer with the knife.
Lieutenant Richard Fuller told reporters that witnesses said the boy shouted, "shoot me, shoot me, I want to die" before he attacked the officer.
Comperchio said that officer, a man in his 30s who was also not identified, fired one shot into youth's right upper torso area.
Police immediately provided medical aid to the boy, Comperchio said, and he was taken to South Shore Hospital in Weymouth and then to Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, where he is in stable condition and expected to survive.
Police said the youth had been drinking rum with friends, but it was not immediately clear what his blood alcohol level was at the time of the shooting.
Police said he has a juvenile record, but they would not elaborate.
The youth will be charged with four counts of assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon and one count of armed assault with intent to murder.
The officer who fired his weapon, a one-year veteran of the Weymouth force and an 8-year veteran of the Whitman police, has been placed on paid administrative leave pending a joint investigation by Weymouth police and the Norfolk district attorney's office, officials said.
The investigation is standard procedure in every police shooting.
Police said today's shooting appears to have been justified. No officers were injured.
Neighbor Tracey Foley-Wahlberg, 29, said she witnessed the shooting and the moments leading up to it.
She said the youth had the knife in one hand and a phone in the other, and that police told him to put down the knife.
She said the youth appeared to be intoxicated and stumbling.
At one point, she said, he put the knife on the back of a police cruiser but then picked it up again.
She said she thought the officer who fired the gun had fired at least twice from a distance of 10 to 15 feet.
Police said the youth was between 5 and 10 feet from the officer when he was shot once.
She said that before firing, the officer said, " 'Put the knife down, or I'm going to shoot you,' " and the teen replied, " 'That's what I want; just shoot me.' "
Police said they were looking into the possibility that the teen had made the original 911 call.
Another neighbor, Cindy Alkanan, 40, said officers told the youth to put the knife down at least a dozen times.
She said after the boy was shot, one officer said, "Oh my God, he's just a kid."
Alkanan said she did not see the shooting but later saw the teen lying on the street near a police cruiser.
Another neighbor who declined to give her name said only one shot was fired.
She said the officer who fired the gun later walked toward and punched a police cruiser. "He was upset," she said.
Lorena Hersey, 52, who lives on a nearby street, said she heard at least two shots and later saw police administering chest compressions to the youth.
Neighbors said they believe the boy lives in Boston and visits on the weekends.
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