Family Reacts to Shooting in Sunbury
SUNBURY–The 17-year-old boy shot in Sunbury remains in a medically induced coma tonight…one day after he was shot by police.
The shooting yesterday may be sparking controversy because the Sunbury Police Department has already received a death threat.
Family of Naheem Reams gathered at Geisinger Medical Center near Danville, where the 17-year-old is in a medically induced coma.
“Words can’t even describe what I’m going through to see my son laying in there like that,” Edwin Delapaz said.
Reams was shot by a Sunbury police officer Wednesday morning after a 20 block chase through Sunbury.
“Energetic, has a big heart. He will do anything for anybody,” Hope Lewis said.
According to state police, Sunbury officers were ticketing vehicles that were parked illegally during street cleaning. Cops asked Reams to move his car, and Reams drove away recklessly.
Reams’ foster mother, Hope Lewis says the teen was leaving his grandfather’s house.
“He saw police officers, got scared and didn’t think,” Lewis said.
Troopers say after the chase, a Sunbury officer ended up shooting at Reams because the teen’s car was coming right at him.
“The boy that I know would not do something like that,” Lewis said.
The teen’s family does not believe the shooting was justified.
“To shoot a 130 pound male, kid, it was close enough that it just ripped his liver,” Lewis said.
But state police stand by what they believe happened. The Sunbury Police Department has received several threats over the past 24 hours. Threats the chief says he is taking very seriously.
“Perhaps more seriously is a phone call made to the county last night from New York City,” Chief Stephen Mazzeo said.
Chief Mazzeo says the caller threatened to kill every member of the Sunbury Police Department. Reams’ family, meanwhile, is praying for him to get better. Lewis says the teen is going to be a father in four months.
“This boy, to look at him when you go in a hospital room. It breaks your heart and there’s nothing to do but wait for him to wake up,” Lewis said.
“All I can ask for is prayer,” Delapaz said.
Naheem Reams’ family says he had surgery today, which went well. He has internal bleeding and is in a medically induced coma. No police officers were suspended, but the three involved in the shooting were placed on administrative leave until the investigation is over.