The Associated Press
ROSELLE, N.J. — A police officer’s teenage son remained hospitalized Sunday after being shot accidentally by another officer earlier this week.
Marquise Randle, 16, was shot in the stomach Friday evening by Roselle Police Officer Craig Howlett after he was found hiding in an alley near an apartment building where neighbors had complained of drug activity.
His mother, Plainfield Police Officer Khisha Bethea, told The New York Times for Sunday’s editions that her son was in fair condition at University Hospital in Newark.
A message left Sunday at a number listed for Bethea was not returned, and a hospital spokesman said the family had requested that no details be released about their son.
According to a statement issued by Roselle police, officers responded to a report of potential drug activity at the apartment building and saw Randle fleeing from the building. When he was discovered in an alley, he refused to show his hands, the statement said.
Howlett drew his gun but did not intend to fire at Randle, according to Union County Prosecutor Theodore Romankow and police. Instead, the gun went off as Howlett and other officers tried to pull Randle off the ground, where he was in a crouched position.
Bethea and Randle’s uncle, Ken Reid, a sergeant on the Plainfield police force, said that during a meeting Saturday night at Roselle’s borough hall, Romankow said Randle was not suspected of wrongdoing.
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"At this juncture we’re still not happy, but at least the prosecutor came out and stated he was not a suspect,” Reid told The Times. "It was just an accident, an accidental discharge. He was not a suspect in the investigation or wanted for anything."