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Teen says he believes cousin was 'trying to pull his hands up' when shot, killed by Fort Worth police

Fort Worth officers said they feared for their lives when they shot and killed JaQuavion Slaton, 20. But family members and activists want to see body cam video.

FORT WORTH, Texas — JaQuavion Slaton, 20, was a lot of things to a lot of people. He was a father and a boyfriend.

"He always talked about the future," said Rayaa Arzum, his girlfriend and the mother of his child. "He was a great dad."

And to 17-year-old Jevon Monroe, he was a cousin that felt more like a brother. 

"He was really trying to help me to stay out of trouble and stuff and live the right way," Monroe said Tuesday from the Tarrant County Lon Evans Corrections Center.

But according to Fort Worth police, Slaton was an armed suspect that made officers fear for their lives Sunday. 

That day, officers shot and killed Slaton in the Stop Six neighborhood of southeast Fort Worth. Monroe was with Slaton, his cousin, when it happened. 

"My first time seeing somebody just die in my face," Monroe said.

Fort Worth police said the day of the shooting Slaton was already on their radar because he was a suspect in an aggravated assault reported on April 28 at an apartment on The University of Texas at Tyler campus.

RELATED: Girlfriend of man killed in Fort Worth police shooting speaks out

For Monroe, it all started Sunday, which is when he said Slaton became involved in an argument with Arzum and a family member called the police. That's when Monroe, Slaton and Arzum hopped in a car to drive away, he said.

Police spotted the car and initiated a traffic stop. Once the car pulled over, Slaton and Monroe, who both had outstanding warrants, hopped out and fled on foot.

Credit: WFAA
Jevon Monroe

Monroe alleged he didn't know at the time he had an outstanding warrant for his arrest on a simple burglary charge in connection to a vehicle burglary out of the Lincoln Parish in Louisiana. 

"Usually when we get pulled over, they’ll come to the car," Monroe said. "But he yelled in his radio, 'Step out the vehicle.' He made it seem like we did something wrong so that’s really why we ran. We felt like he was trying to pick on us."

Officers said it appeared Slaton was armed as he ran.

Police eventually found Monroe hiding under a truck in someone's backyard. Slaton was hiding inside the vehicle. 

"I just seen them start shooting and I couldn’t do nothing but sit there and cry," Monroe said.

In their statement released Monday night, police said they shot Slaton as "officers attempted to break the glass of the vehicle to gain a better view of the suspect." Authorities said he "made an overt action placing the officers in fear for their lives."

Monroe said he believes his cousin was just attempting to comply with officers' demands. 

"They said, 'Put your hands up,'" he said. "I guess he was trying to put his hands up and they thought he had a gun and they just started shooting."

After the shooting, police said they found a gun inside the truck. Police allege "evidence supports" that the suspect fired the weapon. 

"Testing will be performed on the gun to verify that the evidence located is from the gun collected," the police statement said.

Monroe said he doesn't know if his cousin had a gun. He said he never saw one.

RELATED: Fort Worth police were involved in four shootings — two fatal — in the first eight days of June

As Monroe awaits extradition to Louisiana to face the simple burglary charge, he said he wants to see body camera video from officers to see exactly what happened when his cousin was shot. 

He's not alone. 

Community activists are demanding to see the video. Activists said they plan to attend a Fort Worth City Council meeting Tuesday to confront City leaders on the Slaton shooting, along with three other police-involved shootings that have happened over an eight-day period. 



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