SAN DIEGO — Family members of a teenage boy who was fatally shot by a police officer have come together in a grief-filled emotional and emotional tribute to the teenager who died during a traffic stop in January.
The son, who has not been identified, was shot and killed by Officer Jorge Pacheco after he was pulled over for driving too fast and failing to signal, according to the family’s attorney.
The shooting sparked national outcry and was a stark reminder of the dangers posed by police officers to the communities they patrol.
“My heart breaks for the family,” said attorney Steve Caffrey, who represents the family of the boy.
“They have a right to be angry.”
The case has been the subject of intense scrutiny in the city where Pachecomo, a 28-year-old police officer, was trained.
The city’s police commissioner said the officer was justified in shooting the teen, and said his death will serve as a wake-up call to police departments across the country.
“The officer was not going to take a life, so why would he shoot the boy?” said LAPD Chief Charlie Beck.
Police said Pachecopio shot the teen after he attempted to flee from the scene of the traffic stop, when the boy stopped his car, then ran at Pachecos vehicle and fired several rounds at him, striking him.
The boy was rushed to a hospital, where he died at 8:45 a.m. on Jan. 14, according the coroner’s office.
The family is trying to raise money for a funeral, which is scheduled for Friday in San Diego.
A memorial service is scheduled to be held at 10 a.p.m., with a vigil expected at 1 p.m at the San Diego Civic Center, the city’s largest, according a Facebook event page.
The officer has been placed on administrative leave pending an internal investigation, according with the San Francisco Police Department.
Pacheco, a 16-year veteran of the department, was placed on leave pending the outcome of the investigation.
The police department did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment.
San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer said in a statement that the shooting “shattered our community, the lives of all of us, and all the families that lost loved ones in this senseless act of violence.”
“It is time to get to the bottom of what happened, and to do so with the transparency and fairness that the American public expects,” Faulconers statement said.
In a statement released after the vigil, PacheComo’s family praised the community for its support.
We ask for the support of everyone who knew Jorge P. and the people who cared for him during this time, the statement read.