Hector Morejon, a 19-year-old youngster from Long Beach, California, was shot dead by a police officer on April 23 – so close to home that his own mother heard the gunshot that killed him. Police initially said that Morejon pointed a gun at the officer who shot him while investigating a report of kids trespassing in a vacant building.
But the Long Beach Police Department later admitted that no weapon was found at the scene where Morejon was shot.
Lucia Morejon, Hector’s mother, raced outside just in time to see her son being placed into an ambulance, mortally wounded. According to an account provided by her lawyer Sonia Mercado, the last words she heard him say were, “Mommy, Mommy, please come, please come.”
The mom also said that she told police who she was and started to board the ambulance to ride with her son to a nearby hospital — but an officer pushed her back.
She was also told that no one on the scene knew how her son was shot — and she was not allowed to even see her boy until he had already been pronounced dead, according to statement released by the family.
Mercado spoke to the press, according to a report in The Huffington Post, because Lucia Morejon was still too distraught on Tuesday to discuss Hector’s death.
Hector Morejon was in the vacant building with four other friends, one of whom was charged with violating a gang injunction order. The police also stated that the interior of the empty residence was covered in gang graffiti. But the family of the slain young man flatly denies that Hector was a gang member.
“There is no truth to that suggestion, but it reflects the Police Department’s immediate tactic to attempt to make the victim of a police killing (here Hector) appear like a bad person,” the family’s statement said. “Hector was a sweet son and favored little brother.”
According to police, officers arrived at the vacant home on the 1100 block of Hoffman Avenue to find a broken window with the screen removed, as well as another open window. When the window was broken and who broke it was not determined.
An officer then looked through the window and saw a man who turned out to be Hector Morejon.
“The officer then observed the suspect turn towards him while bending his knees, and extending his arm out as if pointing an object which the officer perceived was a gun,”,” the Long Beach Police said in their own statement.
So the officer then opened fire and shot Morejon, who became the 369th person killed by police in the United States so far this year, according to statistics compiled by the KilledByPolice.net site, which tracks police killings — a statistic not kept by the government. Since the killing of Hector Morejon one week ago Thursday, there have been 14 more people killed by police, to bring the total for the first four months of 2015 to 383, after more than 1,000 were killed last year.