Hundreds expected at protest downtown after officers shot teen

Posted at 8:30 AM, Feb 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-29 12:01:57-05

SALT LAKE CITY - About 700 people are expected at a protest Monday downtown after officers shot a teen who refused to put down a weapon Saturday night.

The Facebook group “United Against Police Brutality” is planning the event at the Federal building on State St.

Salt Lake City Police are responding to criticism over shooting the teenager several times, after a fight near Rio Grande Station.

Witnesses say 17-year-old Abdullahi Mohamed was holding a broomstick and fighting another man when police showed up.

Officers told Mohamed to put down the weapon but he didn’t comply and officers shot him several times.

He spent part of Sunday in a coma before waking up.

A memorial of purple flowers and a red ribbon mark the spot he was shot.

Now, his family questions whether the shooting was necessary.

“I understand if there was a shot to bring him down or something,” Mohamed’s cousin Muslima Weledi said. “But three shots? It’s like they were trying to kill him. Not one shot but three shots, two in the chest and one in the leg.”

Salt Lake Police released a statement saying, “Officers witnessed two males with metal objects attacking a male victim and ordered them to drop the weapons.  One of the males complied and dropped the weapon, the other continued to advance.”

Police said the officers involved were wearing body cameras and the footage will be released after the Unified Police Department completes its investigation.