Memphis, TN -- The mother of a teen shot and killed by an off-duty Memphis Police officer says her other son, who witnessed the shooting, was forced to lie about what he saw.
15-year-old Justin Thompson was shot and killed last September by Terrance Shaw. Shaw claimed he shot Thompson in self-defense after Thompson pulled a gun and tried to rob him.
In an interview with homicide detectives that night, Anthony Simmons, Thompson's older brother, seemed to back up that claim according to a transcript of that interview obtained exclusively by localmemphis.com.
The interview was conducted 5 1/2 hours after Thompson was shot. In the interview, detectives ask Simmons how he knows Thompson.
"He is my blood brother," Simmons responds.
Detectives then ask Simmons if he was with Thompson when Thompson was shot. Simmons answers that he was.
Q: "Was your Brother Justin armed, if so, with what?" detectives asked.
A: "He had a little small black gun, like a little deuce deuce automatic?" Simmons answered.
Q: "Are you referring to a twenty two?"
Q:" Describe the events prior to, during, and after the shooting?"
A: "My brother asked me to go with him to serve someone some green. We walked from the Fast Check on Winchester to the street where it all happened. The dude was already there. He stepped out of the car. My brother asked him how much he had. Dude said I got twenty. My brother uped his gun at the dude, and dude shot my brother one time. I fast walked off, and went to my mama's house and told her what happened."
On Monday, the mother of Thompson and Simmons said that wasn't true.
"Memphis Police Department forced my son to say those things. He was forced, he was tortured," Shirley Thompson said. "That's what they made him say. They made this story up, they told him he had to say those words if not he was going to be charged with the murder of my son."
On Monday evening, an MPD spokeswoman denied Thompson's claims.
"There are no complaints on file advising that he was tortured or forced to respond in any way," Sgt. Karen Rudolph wrote in an email. "This investigation was handled professionally by our investigators throughout their brief involvement with this investigation."
On Monday night, Shaw reached out to the Thompson family for the first time.
"My heart goes out to Mrs. Thompson, the Thompson family, my family, my friends and the citizens of Memphis, because no one has benefited from this situation," Shaw wrote. "To Mrs. Thompson and the Thompson family I pray that some way we could move pass this situation and I will continue to keep you in my prayers."
"I never had any intentions to hurt or harm anyone," Shaw wrote. "I hope we can both find peace and understanding amist this difficult situation," Shaw went on to write.
Shaw was cleared of any criminal wrong-doing, and resigned during an administrative hearing into his conduct the night of the shooting.
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