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Police Investigate Shooting of North High Student By Officer

Bloomington Police said it could be several more days before their investigation into the shooting of a 16-year-old Bloomington North High School student by a 33-year law enforcement veteran is complete.

Bloomington Police Captain Joe Qualters said he has been busy interviewing witnesses since the Wednesday afternoon shooting.

“Approximately six to eight [witnesses]. I believe we had some who observed the incident but we’ve also had a few step forward who simply heard the gunshots,” Qualters said. “We have interviewed all of the witnesses there and have substantiated the information provided to us about the verbal commands being given and the individual moving aggressively toward the officer.”

Qualters said it is unclear whether the teenager will be charged with a crime once he recovers. His injuries are not life-threatening, and he has undergone surgery at Bloomington Hospital. Qualters said it is unclear why the teen was acting aggressively, adding it is also too early to know whether the officer acted properly.

Just after 1p.m. Wednesday, the Bloomington Police Department received a call about a man swinging a knife and making threats at the downtown Bloomington Transit station at Fourth and Washington Streets. When the officer confronted the teenager, the young man allegedly pulled a knife out of his coat and ran toward the officer. The unnamed officer then shot the teen twice in the chest.

Neither the officer’s nor the teen’s name has been released.

Bloomington North High School Principal Jeff Henderson said the teenager is one of his students and Thursday morning, Henderson sent a memo to faculty members.

“Just informing them the situation had occurred. The fact that I have no reason that what occurred [Wednesday] had anything to do with school. And that there’s no history of violence by this student while attending North,” Henderson said. “And letting them know that if any students express concern over this situation and need to see a counselor, the counseling office will be manned and ready.”

As per BPD policy, the officer involved in the shooting has been placed on leave. Prior to Wednesday’s incident and a December 19 police-action shooting, no Bloomington officer had fired a weapon in more than 25 years.

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