Cellphone video showing Fresno police officers opening fire on an unarmed 19-year-old man laying on the ground of a gas station has prompted the FBI to launch an investigation into the teen's death.
The shooting took place on June 25 but has just started to garner nationwide attention following the release of the graphic cell phone video, which was recorded by a witness on scene. It shows 19-year-old Dylan Noble lying on the ground as two police officers stand over him, their guns raised and pointed at his body. One shot is fired, then another as a third officer approaches the scene.
At one point, Noble's blurry body can be seen, his arms raised, saying, "I've been shot."
All told, Noble was shot four times, with two of the shots captured on camera. According to police, the confrontation started when police received reports of a man carrying a rifle at about 3 p.m. near Clovis and Clinton avenues.
Authorities say that when the officers confronted Noble during a traffic stop, believing he could be the suspect, the teen apparently told officers he "hated his life" -- a claim that has been disputed by his family and friends, according to the Fresno Bee.
Hundreds gathered in Fresno to protest in the days following the shooting, according to the Los Angeles Times. The teen's Facebook page, which shows him smiling next to a girl in his profile photo, has been turned into an online memorial.
The moments leading up to the initial shots is still under investigation, Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer said during a press conference.
Dyer claims that the officers thought their lives were in danger and saw Noble reaching into the waistband of his pants, potentially to draw out a gun, when they opened fire. He added that the men who shot and killed Noble are veteran officers, each serving more than 15 years on the force.
Dyer also told the Fresno Bee that the officers were wearing body cameras, and that recorded footage will be released after the Fresno County District Attorney's Office finishes its probe of the shooting.
Police have said that they believe Noble may have been trying to end his life, but protesters and some people who knew him have disputed that claim, the Fresno Bee reported.
“We are heartbroken over the senseless death of our son,” Darren Noble said to the Bee. “Dylan was a fun-loving kid. He loved life. Everybody around him loved him, and for anybody to say differently didn’t know Dylan or is doing it for an ulterior motive.”