A Miami-Dade police officer responding to a domestic disturbance at a home in Leisure City shot and wounded a 15-year-old boy on Thursday, authorities said.
The teen, who was shot in the lower torso during a “struggle” with four cops, was in stable condition at Kendall Regional Medical Center. No weapon was found. Miami-Dade Police Director Juan Perez, at a press briefing at the scene, said he has “more questions than answers” about why the officer fired his weapon.
“I have a lot of concerns about what happened, so far,” Perez said.
Law-enforcement sources identified the shooting officer as Ronald Neubauer, a 28-year Miami-Dade police veteran who has been placed on administrative duty.
This was Neubauer’s second shooting this year — in March, he was one of two officers who fired at a disoriented motorist who stole a Taser from a cop. The man, Jahmal Parker, survived with gunshot wounds to the legs and is facing trial on a slew of felonies. Prosecutors are still reviewing Neubauer’s role in that case.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating the latest shooting. Ultimately, the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office will determine if the officer was justified in using potentially lethal force.
Miami-Dade officers were called to the home just before noon on Thursday. The report: The teen, possibly a foster child, was becoming violent with his guardians.
Neubauer’s attorney, Teri Guttman Valdes, said he and the other officers were trying to remove the teen from the home “because the family was in fear for their safety.” The teen was also “large” and reported to be bipolar, she said.
However, she declined to comment on what prompted Neubauer to shoot.
Law-enforcement sources say they are exploring the possibility that the officer fired his weapon accidentally. Although Neubauer has yet to give a statement to agents, so far, there is no evidence that the teen did anything to put the cop’s life in peril, one source told the Herald.
The teenager has not been identified, and it was unclear if he will face any criminal charges.
The boy’s guardians have not been identified. The house is owned by a man named Lee Bradshaw.