Teen shot in head by Gulfport police officer taken off of life support

Jaheim McMillan, 15
Jaheim McMillan, 15(Katrina Mateen)
Published: Oct. 8, 2022 at 5:59 PM CDT
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GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - 15-year-old Jaheim McMillan, who was sent to the hospital after being shot by a Gulfport police officer, has been taken off of life support.

McMillan was shot following an incident which took place on Thursday. According to a press release put out by Gulfport PD, the department received reports of a car with multiple people, all under the age of 18, waving guns at drivers. The car was stopped by an officer at a Family Dollar at the corner of 8th Avenue and Pass Road, and all occupants but two fled the vehicle.

The press release states that the officer engaged an armed suspect, McMillan, leading to shots being fired. The other suspect was taken into custody following an on-foot pursuit. McMillan was taken to Gulfport Memorial Hospital to be treated for a gunshot wound and was later taken to USA Children’s & Women’s Hospital in Mobile, Ala. All suspects involved were taken into custody, and several firearms were recovered.

The victim’s mother, Katrina Mateen, spoke with our New Orleans sister station WVUE on Thursday night.

“He came out the dollar store with his hands up, and they shot him in the head,” Mateen said. “And then I’m hearing that he seen them... He was sitting in the car and he seen the police pull up with guns, so he got out the car and ran in the store- well, tried to run in the store- and they shot him in the head. The video I seen on Facebook is basically, the man is saying that my son didn’t do anything. He had his hands up, so why did y’all shoot him?”

WLOX has yet to confirm those details. The case has since been passed on to the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation, which is standard procedure for all officer involved shootings. The officer was placed on non-enforcement duties pending results of the investigation, also per procedure.

Mateen also spoke exclusively with WLOX anchor Josh Jackson on Friday during a protest for Jaheim at the Family Dollar where the shooting took place. She explained that the family has dealt with an officer involved shooting in the past, as Jaheim’s uncle was killed in a standoff with police in 2018. Officers were cleared nearly one year later.

“They killed his uncle, Marvin McMillan, a few years back,” Mateen added. “When I got here yesterday, they handcuffed me and walked me across the street.”

Other residents expressed their concerns on the matter, claiming they suspect foul play.

“No one held up a weapon at a police officer,” said Katrina Campbell. “They are making up stories to save their behinds.”

“There is a fear of African American males,” said Rip Daniels, JZ 94.5 owner/radio personality. “‘Why do you run?’ Look at the history of those who didn’t.”

Many questions surrounding the incident could be answered by the release of body cam and dash cam videos. However, Gulfport Police Chief Adam Cooper says he isn’t sure when the footage would be made public.

“It’s up to [MBI],” Cooper said. “Usually they don’t release video while the investigation is ongoing. So the investigation is still in its early stages, and we’ll move on from here, but it won’t be released until they’re ready to release it.

McMillan was taken off of life support just before 5 p.m. Saturday.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

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