When James Comstock refused to purchase his 19-year-old son cigarettes, the teenager drive off in his father’s truck. Attempting to teach his rebellious son a lesson, Comstock phoned the police to report his vehicle stolen.
This lesson ended with the police fatally shooting the his son, Tyler, on the Iowa State University campus.
The father is angry and confused. He wonders why the police hastily used deadly force.
“He took off with my truck. I call the police, and they kill him. It was over a damn pack of cigarettes. I wouldn’t buy him none,” Comstock told The Des Moines Register. “And I lose my son for that.”
Police began chasing Tyler shortly after Comstock called and reported the vehicle stolen. The truck belongs to a lawn care company.
As Ames Police Officer Adam McPherson pursued Tyler across the ISU campus, he allegedly rammed into McPherson’s car. The lawn care truck was eventually stopped, although police claim Tyler revved the engine and refused to turn off the vehicle.
McPherson fired six shots into the vehicle, striking the teen twice and killing him, according to the Iowa state medical examiner’s office.
Comstock told The Des Moines Register that his son wasn’t armed.
Tyler’s step-grandfather, Gary Shepley, 65, was also outraged over the actions of the officers involved, demanding that “hard tough questions” be asked of the police department.
“So he didn’t shut the damn truck off, so let’s fire six rounds at him? We’re confused, and we don’t understand,” Shepley said, saying that the police could have disengaged the chase.
“They’re professionals. They’re trained to handle these situations. And if they panic before they even know what’s going on, then ask yourself: What if it was your child?” he asked.
Here’s more from the report:
During the chase, an unidentified Ames police staffer twice suggested that police back off their pursuit, according to dispatch audio obtained by the Register through a third-party service.
Tyler Comstock’s family said Tyler had made mistakes, but he was taking steps to get his life back on track.
Comstock had recently broken up with his girlfriend and was bouncing from house to house in Boone. He had spent several days in jail because of a disorderly conduct charge, the family said.
But for two weeks, his family said, Comstock had been attending a daily Bible study in Boone. He was seeing his father daily.
Categories: Police State/Civil Liberties