Aurora, Colorado — The 14-year-old killed by Aurora police last week had a pellet gun, the police chief revealed on Friday. Jor’Dell Richardson’s family and dozens of supporters were already waiting outside the Aurora Municipal Center when the information was made public.
Art Acevedo, Aurora’s interim police chief, said the teen had a pellet-gun replica of a 9mm pistol when he and a group of teens stole from a nearby store and ran from police.
Family attorney Siddhartha Rathod said the family was unaware the teen did not have a real firearm until Friday afternoon according to KDVR.
Jor’Dell’s mother, Laurie Littlejohn, said her “life is forever ruined.”
Protesters on Friday afternoon held up fists while shouting words attributed to Black activist Assata Shakur: “It is our duty to fight for our freedom! It is our duty to win! We must love each other and support each other! We have nothing to lose but our chains!”
State Rep. Elisabeth Epps, a community organizer and abolitionist, was among several others who addressed the crowd.
Acevedo said police ultimately determined the gun, which looked similar to an HK USP 9mm pistol, was a replica pellet gun. The chief displayed comparison photos that show a real version of the pistol next to its replica version, both appearing like real firearms.
Police had said Jor’Dell was among a group of teens in hoodies and surgical masks who were suspected of stealing from a convenience store to get vape cartridges. A sergeant with the department’s gang unit had spotted the teens near the store and deemed them suspicious.