Florida State Attorney Says Police Shooting of Teen Was Justified

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) - The state attorney says a St. Petersburg police officer was justified in fatally shooting a teenager who pointed a gun at him.

State Attorney Bernie McCabe wrote in a Tuesday letter to the police department that officer Terrence Nemeth was in "lawful performance of his legal duty" when he killed 17-year-old Javon Dawson outside a crowded graduation party June 7.

McCabe's letter says that witnesses supported Nemeth's contention that Dawson was firing a gun into the crowd, refused orders to drop it, and pointed the weapon at the officer as he ran away.

Two of Nemeth's shots hit the teen in the back.

An activist group has claimed that Dawson did not have a weapon and has demanded that Nemeth be prosecuted.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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