OTTAWA, Kan. -- An investigation is underway after a police shooting in Ottawa left an 18-year-old dead.
The shooting happened Saturday night outside Orschelin's Hardware store in Ottawa. Police said they were called to the scene after reports that there was someone there with a gun.
During the encounter with officers, Joseph Jennings was shot. He was taken to a hospital, where he died of his injuries.
The victim's foster father, William Bruton, said Jennings told him he was heading to Walmart Saturday night.
"He was walking back and they said that they had a complaint and stuff on him out here making a scene," Bruton said.
"As I was looking, they kept getting closer. They pulled the guns out. They kept getting closer and closer. You could hear them tell him to, 'Get down, get down,'" said witness Houston Harris.
"By the time I got to my son, he maneuvered away from me," said Bruton. "He went up toward the cop, he done something with his hand and about 15 to 16 cops shot rounds off on him, in his chest, his legs, everything."
Family members said there have been confusing reports about what happened, including conflicting reports about whether Jennings actually had a gun.
Family members said police have made several recent trips to their home. They said the young man had been having suicidal thoughts because of painful seizures and had tried to overdose on Friday.
Jennings aunt Brandy Smith, who was at the scene on Saturday, said police wouldn't let her intervene. She said she could have helped Jennings get the help he needed.
"I never thought it would hit this close to home," she said. "My condolences go out to the victims of the Ferguson incident. I'm living it, too. The overkill and the police department not knowing how to handle those with disabilities."
In an overnight news conference, the county attorney and police chief said the shooting was a traumatic experience for the officers involved.
"We have to make sure that they have time to decompress, relax and clear their heads so they can be available for both the families and the KBI as witnesses," said Ottawa Police Chief Dennis P. Butler.
The Kansas Bureau of Investigation is now taking over the case, which is standard protocol in a case like this. The officers involved in the shooting have also been placed on administrative leave during the investigation, which is also routine.