Police Fatally Shoot Robert Fuller's Half Brother One Week After Hanging

A week after Robert Fuller was found hanged in Palmdale, California, police fatally shot his half brother in a town 20 miles away.

Terron Boone was killed in Rosamond, California, on Wednesday, Jamon Hicks, an attorney representing the Fuller family confirmed to Newsweek.

In a statement, Hicks said: "I had to notify the sisters of Robert Fuller that their brother Terron Jammal Boone was killed by Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies in Kern County."

In a news release, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said the shooting took place in the 3400 block of 15th Street at around 4.30 p.m.

Detectives from the department's major crimes unit were searching for a suspect in a kidnapping and domestic assault at the time.

Boone had been charged on Tuesday with multiple offences, including false imprisonment, assault, criminal threats and domestic violence, according to The Los Angeles Times.

Deputy James Nagao said detectives had trailed a car the suspect, now identified as Boone, was driving to an apartment complex in Rosamond and attempted a traffic stop.

"The suspect opened the front passenger door of the vehicle and engaged the Deputies by firing multiple rounds at them with a handgun," Nagao said. "At that time, an Officer involved shooting occurred during which the suspect was struck several times in the upper torso."

Boone was pronounced dead at the scene, authorities said.

A woman who was driving the car was also struck by gunfire and taken to hospital, where she was treated and released, Nagao said.

A 7-year-old who was sitting in the back seat of the car was not injured in the gunfight, he added. The child's relationship to Boone and the woman was not immediately clear.

Lt. Robert Westphal told The Times none of the detectives were wearing body cameras, and their vehicles weren't equipped with dash cameras. Investigators are trying to obtain any footage that may have been captured on home security systems in the area, he added.

The investigation is ongoing, the sheriff's department said.

Footage from a home surveillance camera was posted on the Rosamond Community Watchdog Facebook page. It doesn't show the shooting, but voices can be heard shouting "Hands up!" before shots are heard being fired.

Hicks said the Fuller family and their legal team have no further comment on the incident at this time. "The family respectfully asks that their privacy be respected. Our prayers remain with the Fuller family," he said.

Palmdale
People protest in front of Palmdale Sheriffs Station on June 13, 2020 to demand a full investigation into the death of Robert Fuller, a 24-year-old black man found hanging from a tree, in Palmdale, California. Apu Gomes/AFP via Getty Images

It came as anger mounted over the department's handling of the investigation into Fuller's death amid ongoing protests sparked by the death of George Floyd, a black man, in Minneapolis police custody last month.

Fuller, 24, was found hanging from a tree in a park in the early hours on June 10 near Palmdale City Hall.

Authorities initially ruled his death a suicide, triggering large protests over the weekend. Fuller's family maintained that he was not suicidal and called for an independent autopsy and investigation.

In an earlier statement, Hicks said the Fuller family and the community were "enraged" that the sheriff's department had "immediately" ruled the death a suicide.

"For African-Americans in America, hanging from a tree is a lynching," Hicks said. "Why was this cavalierly dismissed as a suicide and not investigated as a murder? We want complete transparency."

Following the weekend protests, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said on Monday that Fuller's death would be investigated as a homicide. He added that the investigation will be monitored by the California attorney general's office and the FBI's Civil Rights Division.

On Monday, the FBI said federal authorities would review local investigations into the deaths of both Fuller and Malcolm Harsch, a 38-year-old man who had been found hanged in Victorville, California on May 31.

"The FBI, U.S. Attorney's office for the Central District of California and the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division are actively reviewing the investigations into the hanging deaths of two African American men in the cities of Palmdale and Victorville to determine whether there are violations of federal law," the bureau said in a statement.

This article has been updated with additional information from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.