Justice

People Are Still Asking Why 16-Year-Old Aries Clark Was Gunned Down by Police in Arkansas

July 28th 2017

By:
Anna Albaryan

On Tuesday, 16-year-old Aries Clark was visiting with his cousin at an emergency youth shelter in Marion, Arkansas, when officers responding to a call at the facility shot him. Clark was taken to a nearby hospital where he later died from his injuries.  

Most of the details surrounding the shooting came from Aries Clark's cousin, Chris Clark, who was there when officers arrived and started shooting. 

"He held a BB gun in the air, and they just took him down on sight," Chris Clark told reporters at Fox13

Chris Clark also addressed why his cousin, and best friend, had come to the East Arkansas Youth Services building in the first place. He said that Aries would frequently stay at the shelter and had also been receiving counseling through Child Protective Services there. Aries Clark had left the shelter on Sunday night, but he had returned on Tuesday, to reportedly bring back a sweatshirt. 

However, Chris Clark was left with only questions when it came to why the shooting occurred. And officers at the Marion Police Department aren't releasing any information that would help family, friends, and the public better understand what happened Tuesday evening. 

The officers responsible for the shooting, whose names were not released, are currently on paid leave and the Marion Police Department has issued a statement saying they are investigating the incident.

 According to local news affiliate WMC Action News, "Marion Police Chief Gary Kelley declined to say why officers were called to the building."  

Chris Clark said that he and Aries had been talking about pursuing music together, the night before Aries was shot. Chris recalled telling Aries, "You got to live long enough for us to see it. For you to see it," he told Fox13

As ATTN: has previously reported, there were 86 fatal police shootings of people wielding toy guns, pellet guns, and imitation weapons in 2015 and 2016 combined, with BB guns being the most common type of fake weapon found in these incidents. 

Arkansas State Police are also declining to offer up any information about what could have led to the shooting, "citing the ongoing investigation," according to The Huffington Post. But as The Root reported, they will be handling "the investigation into the shooting, [and] say that they will hand the results of their investigation over to state prosecutors."

ATTN: has reached out to the Marion Police Department, but was told the Public Information Officer was not available for comment at this time. We will update this story when we hear back. 

Family members reported that doctors informed them that Aries Clark had been shot in the back of the head. His grandmother, Vickie Burks said that on Monday, she had been preparing to gain full custody of her grandson soon. 

"I was expecting him to come home, not to be buried,” Burks told Fox13. "I was telling him, give yourself a little while and you’ll be home with me," she said.