Memphis cop fatally shoots 19-year-old after 'mistaking him for another person'

'There is someone out there with the same name and a lot of warrants'

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The Independent US

Darrius Stewart, 19, was killed by a Memphis police officer following a physical altercation after the teen was pulled over for a broken headlight.

Investigators said that the officer issued the teenager a ticket on Friday night and placed him in the backseat of his patrol car to verify outstanding warrants.

The officer claims he did not cuff the young man, and when he approached the backseat a scuffle ensued. The teen allegedly got hold of the officer's handcuffs and swung them in his direction. The unnamed cop then shot the teen to end the fight.

 WSMV Channel 4

However, the teen's mother said that he was detained several months prior in another case of mistaken identity.

"They told him he could leave because he wasn't the one they were looking for, but to be safe, because there is someone out there with the same name and a lot of warrants," she told WSMV-TV.

"Words can't express how I feel. If my son attacked this officer, why didn't he use a taser? There were two officers and only one of my son.”

The Memphis Police Department are investigating the case and have not verified if the warrants belong to the teenager. The officer involved has been placed on leave.

The department has not responded to requests for comment by press time.