The family of the 14-year-old is questioning the officer's decision to shoot the boy

By Char Adams
December 08, 2016 09:40 AM
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Reno School-Shots Fired
Credit: Andy Barron/The Reno Gazette-Journal/AP

The family of a teen shot Wednesday after he allegedly pulled two large knives on students at his Nevada high school is now reportedly questioning the officer’s use of force on the 14-year-old.

The teen was taken to a local hospitalized and listed in critical condition after being shot at Hug High School in Reno, Nevada, by a school district police officer, according to authorities.

A lawyer for the family said they are focused on the boy’s recovery — but question the officer’s decision to fire, according to a report.

“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.” (Houston could not immediately be reached.)

Because the suspect is a juvenile who has not been charged as an adult, PEOPLE is not identifying him.

The situation unfolded at around 11:30 a.m., when the boy 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.

Police are investigating the circumstances surrounding the attack. One parent told the Reno Gazette-Journal that the teen had been “bullied for days.”

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“The officer gave verbal commands for the student to drop the knife, ultimately firing his service weapon, stopping the threat,” Soto said, adding that medical aid was immediately provided to the suspect after the shooting.

The school was placed under lockdown following the incident, authorities told PEOPLE. But the lockdown was lifted by the afternoon, the Associated Press reports.

Several videos of the incident were posted online, showing a boy in a blue shirt and white pants running around the school’s quad with two large knives.

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“There’s some very disturbing video out there,” Reno police officer Tim Broadway told reporters Wednesday afternoon. “But there are other events that led up to this incident, so please don’t react to those.”

Broadway told the Gazette-Journal that the officer who shot the teen is on paid administrative leave. Officials have not released his name, and it was not immediately clear if the teenage suspect has been charged or entered a plea.

• With reporting by HARRIET SOKMENSUER