BENTON, Ark. (KTHV) - The family of a Benton teenager shot and killed by police last week spoke for the first time publicly on Friday. The Benton Police Department also released on Friday the identity of the officer who shot 17-year-old Keagan Schweikle.
Questions are what Keagan's parents are left with after the shooting. Police were called to the scene to help with the suicidal teen.
"We are here to let the public know that we are engaged. We aren't letting it go. We are not accepting it as it is,” said Dominic Schweikle.
The Schweikle family cannot understand how a welfare call led to the death of Keagan. The family said they have many questions about the process the police went through during the welfare call.
Officer Kyle Ellison, a six-year veteran of the Benton police, was identified as the officer who shot Keagan. Ellison and the other officers chased Keagan Schweikle deep into these woods just steps from his River Oaks home before shooting and killing him. In 2014, Ellison was named Outstanding Officer of the Year for the 2nd Congressional District by the Attorney General.
The Schweikle family said that Officer Ellison and the others responding to the suicidal teen did not act appropriately when they shot him.
"Keagan was in a wooded area. He was a danger to no one but himself," Dominic said. "The police department of Benton had him contained yet they chose to engage him and were well aware of the situation at hand from the 9-1-1 call.”
That 9-1-1 call, placed by Keagan's mother for help with her suicidal teen, has not been released to the public. According to police reports, he ran into the woods with a .40 caliber pistol.
"Why did the police department not explore other avenues? Setting up a perimeter, immediately calling a crisis intervention officer to come speak with [him],” said Keagan's father.
He said a gray-colored mini-van may have been near the crime scene as a neighboring family prepared to put a float on the river. The Schweikle's said that family was asked to leave by police. They would like to hear from that family about what they may have seen or heard.
Benton Police would not comment on any of the statements made today.