Tense video shows composed Florida deputies convincing a 14-year-old boy who had just fatally shot his mother in a driveway and injured her boyfriend not to turn the gun on himself.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said Adeem Berry’s brother recalled an argument between the two victims in their Riverview home on Saturday before hearing several gunshots.
Fearing that he was also on his brother’s hit list, the sibling ran out of the home to escape the rampage.
After leaving his mother dying in a driveway, Berry ran around his subdivision holding a handgun and searching for the injured boyfriend, who had sought refuge in a neighbor’s home.
Arriving officers spotted Berry, who held the gun to his head and repeatedly threatened to shoot himself.
“I don’t want to hurt you, bro,” a deputy can be heard telling the agitated teen. “I don’t want to shoot you. Put it down. You don’t want to end it this way. You don’t want to end it this way, brother. I promise you.”
Berry continued to point the firearm at his head, prompting officers to continue to plead with him not to fire a fatal bullet.
“Whatever happened today — it can be fixed,” the deputy tells Berry. “Don’t pull the trigger.”
Police said Berry put the gun down at one point, but then began to retrieve it.
Officers then fired a “less lethal round” at Berry, striking him in the hand.
The negotiations continued, with officers telling Berry to move towards them without the firearm.
“My gun is out only because I don’t know what you’re going to do,” a deputy tells Berry. “When you get to over here my gun is going in my holster. I promise you.”
Finally, after several more minutes, Berry walked slowly towards the officers, laid down on the ground and surrendered.
“The deputies who negotiated with this suspect for more than 16 minutes were calm, collected, and ultimately successful in convincing him to lower his weapon,” said Sheriff Chad Chronister. “They used their remarkable intuition and expertise to determine this suspect was not looking to harm them, but was contemplating suicide.”
With Berry in handcuffs, an officer tells Berry to look at him in the eye.
“I don’t have a clue what just happened in there,” he says, referring to the shootings. “We’re going to find out. But whatever choices you made — that’s the best choice you made all day. Thank you.”
Chronister did not release any details of what led to the shooting.
“This scene is one of nightmares and absolute heartbreak,” he said. “This family’s life is forever changed. A victim’s life was taken, and because of his actions, the suspect’s life, as he knows it, is over. He will never see the outside of a detention facility for his crimes.”
Berry is facing murder and attempted murder charges.