A Waco police officer who fatally shot a “big boy” during a “battle for the ages” on Tuesday night was fired by the city’s police chief.
Officer Charles Gorman fired the fatal shot at 22-year-old Robert Harris after the teenager allegedly began throwing bricks at him, according to Waco Police Chief Michael Brown.
Harris was shot in the neck and died on the scene, according a news release from Brown.
The shooting came after several days of escalating violence in the town that is home to the largest concentration of people of color in the United States.
“The family is deeply saddened by the loss of their beloved son, brother and husband,” Brown said in the release.
“Their love for their son and husband has touched the hearts of countless others, and I’m proud to say that I was the first to receive word of their death.
We will all mourn and grieve with them.”
Harris, of Lufkin, Texas, had been with the department for just under two years, according in the news release.
He was born in Houston and had been a police officer for five years.
According to WDSU-TV, Harris was an aspiring rapper who was attending college in Houston.
He started out working for a local pizza place and then moved into a nightclub.
The incident came as part of a larger fight between police and protesters over the police’s use of force in the aftermath of the fatal shooting of a black teenager by white police officer Darren Wilson in February.
Brown has previously spoken about the brutality of the Waco standoff, saying the department was trying to protect the public.
“You’ve got a young man who got his head smashed in, you’ve got the cop who shot him, you got a 17-year old girl who’s got a bullet hole in her face,” Brown told ABC News.
“These are young people, not adults.
These are children.”
The shooting comes as tensions have flared between the police and residents of the city.
Waco residents have been angered by the police for allegedly violating their right to free speech.
In March, protesters blocked traffic in front of the police station and demanded the release of four people arrested for the fatal riot.
A few days later, officers responded to the protest after a white police sergeant reportedly yelled racial slurs at a black protester.
In January, an officer was caught on camera shooting a black man who was resisting arrest.
Police officers in Waco have been under increased scrutiny in recent weeks after videos of them shooting unarmed civilians, killing them and then using excessive force against unarmed citizens have been made public.
In the wake of the death of Eric Garner, a black New York City man, the police union launched a series of protests.
A grand jury declined to indict the officers involved in the Garner death, but instead declined to prosecute the officers.
Earlier this month, the Wacos police chief and Waco Mayor Mike Signer issued a statement that called for reform.
“This is not the city we want to be,” Signer said.
“We want to put the city of Waco first and foremost, and we don’t want to have to make the difficult decisions about policing and public safety that we must now make.”