Kansas Police Kill Suicidal Teen, Stopped Family From Helping (Video)

| by Michael Allen

Joseph Jennings, 18, was shot and killed by law enforcement outside an Ottawa, Kan., hardware store on Saturday night.

Ottawa police and Franklin County Sheriff's deputies answered a 911 call at the hardware store where Jennings was allegedly armed with a gun. The deputies and officers reportedly shot Jennings multiple times.

The teen was taken to a nearby hospital where he died.

"Why did it take them shooting him 16 times at least for them to bring him down and go and take care of what they needed to take care of," Jennings' aunt, Brandy Smith, told KCTV 5 (video below).

"He was a really good boy," added Smith. "He was suffering from depression, seizures and anxiety."

However, Ottawa Police Chief Dennis Butler countered, "[Officers] reacted based upon the training that they've been given from the academy. We were thankful that no officer was injured from protecting themselves from risk of great bodily harm."

Smith claimed that Jennings' seizures were getting worse and the teen was suicidal. Last Thursday, Jennings reportedly wrote on Facebook:

Tonight is the night goodbye everyone!!!!! It was truly a good ride! And I'm sorry for who I might of hurted (sic) and people that I may of offended, But I love all my family and I hope you don't hold this against me.

Jennings ingested 60 pills in a suicide attempt, but was taken by police to a local hospital and survived. Only three hours after checking out of the hospital on Saturday, Jennings walked to the hardware store.

According to Smith, two of the police involved in the shooting knew Jennings from the suicide attempt two days earlier.

“They knew him,” Smith told the Kansas City Star. “They dealt with him the day before. He was suicidal. He had only been out of the [psychiatric] hospital for three hours when they shot him. I was screaming at the top by lungs, ‘That’s Joseph Jennings! You know him, don’t shoot him!'"

Smith added that she and her husband were not allowed to help at the scene. Police officers reportedly told Smith's husband to stay away, or they would shoot him.

“They didn’t have to shoot and kill [Jennings],” Smith stated. “Nobody deserves this.”

The Kansas Bureau of Investigation is reviewing the incident while the officers are on administrative leave.

Sources: Kansas City Star, KCTV 5