HAYMARKET, Va. - The fatal shooting of a 15-year-old boy by Prince William County police has been deemed justified, prosecutors announced Tuesday morning.
Paul Ebert, the Commonwealth Attorney for Prince William County, said prior to the shooting 15-year-old Ruben Urbina had called 911 to report that he had a bomb and a hostage.
“There comes a time when police have to do what they have to do and this is one of those occasions,” Ebert said. “I’ve gone through the evidence and ruled that it was a justifiable shooting. The officers had a reasonable threat of fear of bodily harm, serious bodily harm or death. The individual involved, the young man had called police, told them he was holding his mother hostage and that he would like them (the police) to shoot him or had no objection to them shooting him."
Officials said Ruben Urbina attempted suicide the night before the shooting and was beating a girl with a crowbar prior to police arriving at the home in the 6800 block of Hartzell Hill Lane in Haymarket, Virginia on Friday.
"He told them he had a knife and as officers arrived they saw him beat his brother’s girlfriend with a crowbar, a large crowbar that was 3 feet in length," Ebert detailed.
Ebert said the officer shot the 15-year-old when the teen was about 10 feet away and approaching in a threatening manner. Officials said Ruben Urbina ignored commands to put the crowbar down before he was shot one time in the upper body. He died in front of his home.
"We have sources there independent of the police department who also heard those commands who we've interviewed and support the fact that they heard the commands being given multiple times," Prince William County Police Chief Barry Barnard said.
The officer who shot the teen was identified by officials as 35-year-old Robert Choyce, a seven-year veteran of the Prince William County Police Department. Choyce had never been involved in a previous officer-involved shooting, according to the police department.
Barnard acknowledged that the officers involved in the incident did not have body cameras. Prince William County police officers do have Tasers, but none were deployed during the incident, according to officials.
The teen's father said he still questions why deadly force was necessary and also questions the decision by the commonwealth attorney to deem the shooting justified.
"My wife and kids saw everything and they (the officers) don't have cameras so they can say whatever they want," said Oscar Urbina, the 15-year-old’s father. "He's just a little guy with a little crowbar. Isn't there a Taser?"
Oscar Urbina said he was in Mexico at the time of the shooting and believes his son was murdered, but states he has forgiven the officer who fired the fatal rounds.
"I woke up at 5 in the morning and I wrote a letter to of forgiveness for the officer I don't even know who took my kid. I forgive him," Oscar Urbina said while fighting back tears.
FOX 5 asked Oscar Urbina if his son had suffered from mental illness in the past but he declined to comment about his son's mental health.