Sheriff says teen answered door carrying a bb gun

Memorial at scene of shooting (FOX 8 photo)
Memorial at scene of shooting (FOX 8 photo)

HOUMA, LA (WVUE) - Terrebonne Parish Sheriff Jerry Larpenter called the Tuesday night shooting of a teen a tragedy during an interview with our partners at Houma TV.

He said that when deputies arrived at an abandoned house where someone feared that a robbery was taking place, 14-year-old Cameron Tillman came to the door with a bb gun that looked like a .45-caliber weapon.

Larpenter said he doesn't think Tillman came to the door to harm the officer and said the investigation will just have to play out. The deputy is on administrative leave.

Meanwhile, hundreds of Tillman's friends, relatives and neighbors gathered to remember him Wednesday night.

Supporters continued to show up hours after the vigil for Tillman ended. They lit candles and prayed for peace in the wake of his death.

For Tillman's grandmother, the pain was too much to bear. She and other relatives joined a massive crowd on Kirkglen Loop.

"We shouldn't be having kids die like this," said one of the supporters.

After lighting candles, the group marched through the neighborhood.

Those who knew him insist Tillman was a good person.

"I was a mentor to him," said his uncle, Daniel Brothers. "I was somebody he would look up to, to put him on the right path and to do his best. I loved the way he lived his life."

"He was just a friendly person, and he's also my cousin," said another relative. "He was a joyful spirit."

The Terrebonne Sheriff's Office said a deputy shot Tillman after finding the teen and four others in an abandoned house. Someone called 911 to say teens armed with guns were hanging out in the home. State Police say when the deputy arrived, an altercation ensued and Tillman was shot and killed.

State Police are trying to determine what exactly led to the shooting.

"The officer and his family and the 14-year-old and his family deserve a proper investigation," said Trooper Evan Harrell.

State Police say more information will be released after an autopsy on Tillman is complete.

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