Date: July 4, 2023
Aurora, The Aurora Police Department (APD) revealed on Friday that a teenager who was fatally shot by an Aurora officer was armed with a pellet gun. In an effort to provide transparency, the APD released body-worn camera footage related to the tragic shooting of 14-year-old Jor’Dell Richardson, shedding light on the events that unfolded on June 1.
During a news conference held at the police headquarters, Police Chief Art Acevedo presented a detailed timeline of the incident and shared footage from the body cameras of two officers involved. The videos revealed a rapidly evolving situation in which two police officers pursued Jor’Dell down an alley and eventually tackled him.
In the footage, just moments before one of the officers, identified as Roch Gruszeczka, discharged his weapon, Jor’Dell can be heard pleading, “Stop please, you got me.” Simultaneously, Gruszeczka can be heard yelling at Jor’Dell to release the gun and warning that he will shoot him. Following his warning, Gruszeczka fired a single round that struck Jor’Dell in the abdomen.
After the shooting, the officers discovered that the object Jor’Dell was holding was a pellet gun, which they promptly discarded. They immediately initiated CPR and continued their efforts until paramedics arrived at the scene. Despite their attempts to save his life, Jor’Dell succumbed to his injuries at a later time.
The release of the body camera footage is part of the APD’s commitment to transparency and ensuring that the public has access to relevant information surrounding the incident. The video footage provides valuable context and allows the community to gain a better understanding of the events that led to Jor’Dell’s tragic death.
As this case continues to be investigated, questions surrounding the use of force by law enforcement officers and the circumstances leading to the shooting have emerged. The APD has assured the public that a thorough investigation will be conducted to determine whether proper protocols were followed.
The tragic shooting of Jor’Dell Richardson serves as a grim reminder of the complexities surrounding interactions between law enforcement and the community, particularly in cases involving teenagers. It also highlights the ongoing need for open dialogue and efforts to improve police practices in order to prevent such tragic outcomes in the future.