The 17-year-old Somali refugee who was critically wounded in a police shooting in Salt Lake City is awake and talking, his cousin has said.
Abdi Mohamed, who came to the US with his family in 2004, was shot twice in the torso last month when officers tried to stop him and another person from beating a man, police said yesterday.
His cousin Muslima Weledi said he has woken from his medically induced coma but remains on painkillers.
Police have said Mohamed and a second person were beating a man with metal sticks when officers intervened February 27.
Officers fired after he moved menacingly toward the man who was beaten instead of immediately obeying a command to drop the stick, police said.
The teen’s friends dispute the police account. Friend Selam Mohammad said the fight started after a stranger made a comment about Abdi Mohamed’s girlfriend, and the other man was also armed with a stick.
Unified Police Detective Chuck Malm declined to say if police have interviewed Mohamed, citing the ongoing investigation.
Police have refused to release video from the incident until the investigation into the shooting is complete. Salt Lake County Attorney Sim Gill said his office is still reviewing the case and that he hopes the process will be finished in the next few weeks.