Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Review: Police Shooting Clean; Teenager Was Shot in Back of Head While Pointing Gun, Trying to Run

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Review: Police Shooting Clean; Teenager Was Shot in Back of Head While Pointing Gun, Trying to Run

Article excerpt

Byline: Jim Schoettler

A Jacksonville police sergeant broke no laws when he fatally shot a 16-year-old in the back of the head after the teen pointed his loaded gun at him several times during a car and foot chase, the State Attorney's Office determined.

Sgt. John Nobles used deadly force justifiably because he feared for his life when shooting Kendre Alston on March 19, according to a prosecutor's review of the case obtained by the Times-Union. Though Alston dropped his gun while being chased, Nobles apparently didn't know that when he fired the fatal shot.

An Alston accomplice never was caught.

Alston's mother, De'Neane Campbell, said she still questions what happened to her son and the investigation's outcome.

"I still believe there are discrepancies in the story," said Campbell, 37. "I just really want the truth."

The State Attorney's Office declined to comment on the findings.

None of the hundreds of Jacksonville police shootings since 1980 have led to criminal charges. In the past 10 years, a handful of officers have been disciplined or ordered to take more training following administrative reviews. One was fired and two resigned.

Nobles, involved in two other shooting during his 12-year career, has not had his administrative review.

An analysis done by The Wall Street Journal in December found the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office ranked No. 9 in the country for justifiable homicides between 2007 and 2012 with 46. The Journal found the Sheriff's Office had more justifiable homicides than cities such as Dallas, Detroit, St. Louis, and Albuquerque, N.M. - which was investigated by the federal government for its use of force.

The incident involving Nobles and Alston began about noon at Castellano Avenue and Helena Street in Northwest Jacksonville. Police said a resident saw two armed men driving in and out of the Hilltop Cemetery and officers learned the 2013 Nissan Altima was stolen.

Police said Nobles spotted the car about 2 p.m. in the cemetery, while the state attorney review said he saw it on a dead-end street. Nobles radioed for backup, then saw the two men get into the Altima. …

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