Police shooting of disabled man prompts questions from mother

The mother of a local man fatally shot after police said he pointed a gun at an officer said that her son, who suffered from a disability, complied with a previous police request not to pull a gun from his wheelchair as they pushed him in the vehicle.

Tucson police identified the victim as John-Paul Jackson.

“I want to know how and why he drew a weapon on an officer he had been telling to get out of his wheelchair,” said Robin Jackson, his mother.

Police have said the situation began with a call from a witness reporting a man riding a Segway around Town Walk, a neighborhood of single-family homes southeast of downtown Tucson, which is a historic and modern part of town.

The city has a public transit system, but there are no sidewalks on many residential streets. Residents have complained to The Guardian about cyclists and large groups of young people speeding by in their neighborhood and about problems with homeless people sleeping on the street.

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Police said they encountered Jackson about four blocks away and went to his apartment to ask about an armed person who had been reported near his residence.

The department said in a statement that an officer reached for his gun after seeing Jackson lunge at him with what turned out to be a loaded revolver and fire several shots. The department said the officer fired back, striking Jackson in the torso.

Jackson, a 62-year-old man who had no fixed address, was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

Police didn’t release the name of the officer, who has been placed on paid administrative leave and has been with the department about two years. The department said in its statement that it would release a fuller description of the shooting on Saturday.

Tucson police have become the focus of some public anger. Last month, an officer shot and killed a man who called 911 to report his teenage son was being beaten by a group of strangers.

The shooting of Fred Allen inside the house in the middle of the afternoon caused a huge outcry and spawned thousands of dollars in donations for Allen’s family.

The department agreed to release body-camera footage of the shooting, but at a court hearing this week to decide on Allen’s case, the public defender’s office asked for it to be kept private, saying it could be used in a criminal investigation.

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