An African-American teenager was shot dead outside an Eastern Arkansas youth shelter in Marion.
Aries Clark, 16, was reportedly killed by Marion police officers.
Arkansas State Police said in a release the cops responded to the shelter at 7:08 p.m. Tuesday and "moments later" it was reported that a teenager had been shot by officers.
Aries died of his injuries.
Officers reportedly opened fire after arriving at the youth center about 10 miles northwest of Memphis.
However, there are no reports of anyone calling them or feeling threatened by Aries.
The shelter "provides positive alternatives to institutionalization" for children at risk. Boys and girls ranging from 8 to 18 receive services at the shelter, but only boys are allowed to live there.
According to Madelyn Keith, the nonprofit's executive director and CEO, no one was injured at the shelter as a result of the shooting. "We also request your prayers for our operations and specifically for all individuals and entities involved in this incident. In turn we also offer our sincere prayers for all affected by this event," Keith wrote in a Facebook post.
She also mentioned that he was receiving services at the youth center but currently he wasn’t a resident, reported KATV.
She declined to comment further on Aries' killing.
According to doctors, Aries was shot in the back and back of his head. He died the following day.
The police have not revealed what led officers to open fire on a teenager, much less at his back.
It is yet unknown if the teenager was given any warnings by the officers before they shot him dead.
Arkansas State Police said it was investigating the matter and the results would determine whether the shooting was justifiable. Officers didn’t comment on why Aries was at the facility but, according to his family members, he was there after being “disruptive.”
“He was just being unruly,” the teenager's father told WMC. “He ran away from home twice, so we needed help with him. We just went from needing some help to the next thing we know he's dead.”
His mother, Vicky Clark, mentioned they were hoping to get their son, a student at West Memphis High School, help soon because of his troubled behavior.
“I never expected not to see my son again. I had saw him that Thursday, and we were trying to figure out how we were going to do therapy to get help for him,” she lamented.
Chris Clark, one of Aries' relatives said his cousin reportedly had a BB gun. “He held a BB gun in the air, and they just took him down on sight.”
The mysterious circumstances surrounding Aries' killing has led many to speculate if it was yet another case of racial profiling at the hands of law enforcement. According to The Guardian's "The Counted" database, at least 1,092 people were killed by police in the U.S. in 2016.
Nearly a quarter of those killed were African Americans, although, the group accounts for roughly 12 percent of the country’s total population..
His name was Aries Clark. He died from his injuries. I want answers. https://t.co/dBgDylCoIO— Heide (@Heide_Blansett) July 26, 2017
Thumbnail Credits: Pixabay, Skitterphoto