Protesters want justice for Jaheim McMillan shot dead by MS police
Police fatally shot a teenager after he refused to comply with an officer’s request to lay his gun outside a Family Dollar last week, the Gulfport police chief said in a brief Tuesday press conference.
Jaheim McMillan, 15, was shot by Gulfport police on Thursday and died of a gunshot wound to the head after being taken off life support at a hospital in Mobile, Alabama on Saturday.
McMillan’s family seeks justice in the Gulfport High freshman’s murder. There have been at least two protests outside the Downtown Gulfport Police Department since McMillan’s death, including one on Tuesday immediately after Police Chief Adam Cooper’s press conference.
“The officer ordered him to stop and drop his weapon. McMillan did not comply,” Cooper said. “McMillan turned his body and his gun towards the officer. The officer fired at McMillan.
Cooper also pushed back on stories circulating on social media, but did not elaborate further on what was being said.
“There are a lot of stories on social media about what happened,” he said. “A lot of them are just plain wrong.”
Cooper declined to answer questions from Sun Herald reporters after the press conference.
Mother-of-teen has questions for Gulfport police
McMillans’ mother, Katrina Mateen, was one of twelve people protesting outside the police department on Tuesday and said she believed police were trying to intimidate her by driving past her house at night and flashing the lights of their patrol cars.
“The Gulfport police know who I am and always have,” she told the Sun Herald. “I just want to know why. Why did they have to shoot my son?
Mateen said she did not speak to any officers who passed by her house.
Mateen keeps the community informed on her Facebook page, where she also mourns the death of her child.
“I need my son…come back Jaheim I can’t live without you,” she posted, alongside a TikTok video of photos of McMillan as a toddler and child.
Protesters held chants that said “Justice For Jaheim” and “No Justice No Peace”. A black SUV was decorated with #JusticeForJaheim and the phrase “Hands up don’t work”.
Angela McMillan was emotional as she held up a sign that read ‘WHY’ in large letters.
Mateen held up small posters with her son’s picture on them. She is one of several people on Facebook to request the release of police body camera footage of the shooting.
What the Archives Say About the Police Shooting of a Gulfport Teenager
McMillan was one of three teenagers wearing camouflage masks and threatening another motorist with guns last week, according to affidavits filed in the case.
McMillan was in a silver Kia Soul with four other teenagers who began following another driver on the Mississippi 605 around 2:30 p.m. on October 6.
The driver told police he first noticed the Soul driving recklessly near Interstate 10 in Gulfport. The driver said some of the car’s occupants started “spinning” them near Seaway Road and continued to follow the driver.
The two vehicles later pulled up next to each other on Mississippi 605 at Brentwood Boulevard, where the driver reported seeing a teenager, believed to be McMillan, in the right rear passenger seat waving a gun fire.
Records show the two vehicles took off when the light turned green, but the driver who called police said the silver Kia with McMillan and the other miners inside continued to follow the car.
Before the driver pulled away from the Kia, he told police he saw the Kia Soul’s right rear passenger brandishing a gun again, this time while wearing a camouflage mask, according to the archives.
The driver escaped from the car near Courthouse Road, records show.
Guflport Police found the Kia Soul in the Family Dollar parking lot on Pass Road, where police then shot McMillan.
Gulfport police arrested the other four minors.
In interviews with officers, records indicate the teens admitted to following the other car and identified the three who were wearing masks and brandishing firearms. The teens confirmed that McMillan was one of three wearing masks and waving a gun.
Police recovered a mask and various firearms from the car.
An investigation into the shooting is ongoing.
This story was originally published October 11, 2022 5:42 p.m.