ADELANTO, CA — Police searching for a suspect opened fire on a misidentified man and then charged him with a crime in an apparent effort to justify their mistake.
18-year-old Kevion Young was with his family members in the garage of his uncle’s home shortly after 9 p.m. on January 29th when he stepped outside to urinate along the side of the house.
Family members said it took less than ten seconds for gunfire to erupt outside — just feet away from friends and family, as well as a baby.
Young says he was abruptly approached out of the darkness by men in plainclothes with guns. Without identifying themselves, according to Young, they opened fire. Without any other recourse he dropped to the ground while being sprayed with bullets.
“I was trying to out my hands on my head but they shot me in my leg. I couldn’t even tell them,” Young said to NBC Los Angeles.
He continued: “I laid down ’cause they were shooting. I couldn’t do anything. I put my hands on top of my head. I could feel the bullet passing my head. I almost died.”
The house had bullet holes visible in the side of the garage, as did the truck parked in the driveway. The neighbor’s home was shot at least twice.
The deputies were actually looking for a completely different person — a wanted suspect named Robert Pope.
Young was hospitalized for his gunshot wounds. When he was discharged from the hospital the next day, he says that he expected to go home. To his surprise, he was told that he was being charged with “assault on a peace officer with a deadly weapon.”
Police claim that after busting Young sneaking through yards, he whipped out 2 knives and attempted to stab them. Young says he was just taking urination break.
“I didn’t do anything wrong,” Young said desperately during a phone call from jail.
Darrell Battee, Young’s uncle, was present during the shooting. He says he heard about 8 shots fired just seconds after Young walked out of the garage.
“They reacted too quickly they had the wrong house – the wrong people,” Battee told NBC.
Witnesses say they were “positive” that police had not identified themselves before the shooting. The first time they realized they were cops was after they entered the garage and began to detain everyone. Everyone was grabbed and thrown into handcuffs.
“They want to try to clean it up, and make it as if the party that is injured is the guilty one,” said another family member to NBC.
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View NBC Los Angeles’ coverage of the story:
Demand that the department drop all charges against Kevion Young and reprimand the officers for this attack.
San Bernadino County Sheriff’s Department