Father of Nevada Teen Shot by School Officer During Alleged Knife Attack Says Bullying Provoked Attack
Justin Clark said his 14-year-old son Logan had been punched in the face by an older, bigger student
The father of the high school freshman who was shot by a school police officer after allegedly pulling two large knives on students at his Nevada high school is speaking out, claiming his son was viciously bullied and that the situation should have been handled differently.
In an interview with Today, Justin Clark alleged his 14-year-old son Logan had been punched multiple times in the face by an older, bigger student before the teen was seen on video allegedly lunging at others while holding two large knives.
“My son wasn’t just some knife-wielding psychopath,” Justin said. “It felt like he wanted to make sure that he wasn’t beat up and robbed.”
The father later added, “He’s bleeding from the mouth — obviously something has happened before the video.”
A school police officer allegedly told Logan to drop the weapons multiple times before shooting him in the chest. Logan is now in a medically induced coma.
Justin feels the officer reacted improperly.
“I’m upset that [the officer] didn’t have another alternative or he didn’t spend more time trying to talk my son down or any of that,” Justin said. “For me, it would have been hard to shoot somebody’s 14-year-old son so easily.”
He added, “[Logan] just doesn’t want to be attacked anymore, and that’s what happened. I think that the officer could have evaluated that if he had just paid attention a little bit.”
PEOPLE’s calls to the Reno Police Department were not immediately returned.
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The situation unfolded around 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 7 at Hug High School. The teen got into an altercation with two other students, Reno Police Chief Jason Soto said in a news conference. The boy then pulled out the knives and tried to attack others, Soto alleged.
A lawyer for the family said they are focused on the boy’s recovery — but they question the officer’s decision to fire, according to a report.
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“There are many questions to be answered as to what happened and what could have been done to avoid the use of lethal force,” David Houston told NBC News in a statement. “We believe options were available to law enforcement that were not pursued.”
PEOPLE was not immediately able to reach Houston.
Reno police officer Tim Broadway told the Reno Gazette-Journal that the officer who shot the teen is on paid administrative leave. Officials have not released his name.