Mother of 15-year-old shot in head by Gulfport police officer searching for answers

Published: Oct. 7, 2022 at 10:32 PM CDT
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BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - Family members and loved ones of Jaheim McMillan are praying the Gulfport High School freshman bounces back. He’s now on a ventilator in critical condition at a children’s hospital in Mobile, Alabama.

“I’m not going to pull the plug on him,” said McMillan’s mother, Katrina Mateen. “Maybe he can come back. If he can, I’m going to give him that chance.”

Mateen spoke exclusively with WLOX anchor Josh Jackson. Mateen said her 15-year-old son was shot in the head by a Gulfport police officer Thursday. Authorities said they received reports of a car with people inside waving guns at drivers. That car was stopped by an officer at a Family Dollar store in Gulfport. Police say the teens then ran off and an officer engaged an armed suspect, leading to shots being fired.

“No one held up a weapon at a police officer,” said Katrina Campbell. “They are making up stories to save their behinds.”

“I ask myself, why is it always this demographic,” said JZ 94.5 owner/radio personality Rip Daniels. “A young African American male, usually unarmed.”

The family of Jaheim McMillan has dealt with an officer involved shooting before. The teen’s uncle was killed in a standoff with police in 2018. Officers were cleared of any wrongdoing a year later.

“They killed his uncle, Marvin McMillan, a few years back,” Mateen added. “When I got here yesterday, they handcuffed me and walked me across the street.”

“There is a fear of African American males,” said Daniels. “Why do you run? Look at the history of those who didn’t?”

All suspects involved are now in custody. Police said several firearms were recovered.

“I support law enforcement,” Daniels added. “It’s a dangerous job, but the first order of business is do no harm. Having a gun is not against the law.”

As police maintain their innocence, the victims and their families are crying foul. It’s clear that there are two vastly different sides to this story that won’t go away anytime soon.

The investigation is now being handled by the Mississippi Bureau of Investigations.

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