Autistic boy, 13, seriously injured after being shot multiple times by police

A 13-year-old autistic boy has been shot 11 times by police who were called to his house by the teenager’s mother.

Bodycam footage of the incident – which took place on 4 September in Salt Lake City, Utah – has been released, along with 911 calls.

Linden Cameron survived the shooting but is in a serious condition in hospital, his mother Golda Barton said.

He suffered broken bones and pierced organs and is “lucky to be alive”, the family lawyer, Zach Weyher, said.

Linden was shot at multiple times . Pic: GoFundMe
Image:Linden was shot multiple times . Pic: GoFundMe

Ms Barton, who called 911 asking for help getting her son to hospital for help with his mental health issues, said she had believed police attending would use “the most minimal force possible”.

Linden, who has Asperger’s, a form of autism, was experiencing a crisis, she said, but was unarmed.

But Ms Barton warned police that her son said earlier that day that he had a gun and had threatened to shoot her male co-worker and break windows in the house, the video showed.

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She told officers she thought it was a BB gun or pellet gun, but, while there were no indications he was armed, officers said they would have to proceed as though the boy did have access to a real gun.

She told officers the boy was “triggered” by seeing police and “freaks out”.

Linden was experiencing a crisis, his mother said, because it was her first day back at work in almost a year. Pic: GoFundMe
Image:Linden was experiencing a crisis, his mother said, because it was her first day back at work in almost a year. Pic: GoFundMe

Salt Lake City Police Sergeant Keith Horrocks told reporters there was no indication when they attended that the boy was armed and the incident was now being investigated.

In the video, officers are seen chasing him down an alley after they arrive at his home, then yelling at him to get on the ground. The boy collapses after a series of shots ring out.

The video was made public under a Salt Lake City law requiring the release of video from police shootings within 10 business days.

The shooting has raised new questions about how police deal with people with mental health issues amid nationwide calls for police reform.

It came hours before new de-escalation tactics were due to take effect for Salt Lake City police, which is co-operating with an independent investigation of the shooting.

The mayor of Salt Lake City, Erin Mendenhall, said: “I am profoundly heartbroken and frustrated. It’s a tragedy for this young boy, for his mother and for families and individuals who have acute mental health needs.”

Ms Barton said on a fundraising page, to which almost $100,000 had been pledged on Tuesday: “Linden has a strong spirit and making progress every day. A long way to go still. We are so thankful for all of the communities outpouring of love and support.”

Mark Gibson

Graduates in Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 1990. Move to Los Angeles California in 2004. Specialized in Internet journalism.

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