Fifteen-year-old Justin Thompson's mother was outside on her porch at around 8 p.m. Monday evening when she saw someone lay shot in a yard down the street.
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That person was her son, who was yards from his home when he collapsed in a neighbor's yard after being shot by an off-duty Memphis police officer in what the police department said was an attempted robbery.
Antwan Kelley held the teen's hand While Justin waited for help said he's not sure how many times the teenager was shot, but he was bleeding from his stomach.
Neither did neighbors who came to the teen's aide only to learn later that he didn't survive the shooting from Officer Terrance Shaw, 28.
"I didn't know who he was at the time," the neighbor said. "I hollered at him, 'Did you hear the shots? Did you hear anything or see anything?'"
Before he passed away, the neighbor said Justin asked to call for help. Afterward, he realized the teen he held hands with was from around the corner.
"It's unreal," he said. "We're dealing with it. Trying to cope. Those last few minutes with him, I just don't know what to say."
The shooting incident that played out outside a vacant home on Wooddale is still under investigation by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.
Four bullet holes in a wall of a carport had been marked by police.
"He was gasping for help," Kelley recalled. "He was trying to fight for his life to the end."
Officer Shaw, who has been relieved of duty pending an investigation from the TBI, came onto the force as a police recruit in October 2007. Shaw also worked as a police service technician in 2002-03 and in 2005 as a temporary day camp assistant in 2005 with the city's park division.
The mayor's office said Officer Shaw was the apparent victim of a robbery attempt and shot the 15-year-old.
But all evidence continues to be reviewed including whether there were any prior communications between Officer Shaw and Justin.
It is unclear how many times Justin was shot.
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