"After a continued struggle the officer handcuffed the suspect who for unknown reasons became unconscious and collapsed. Homewood fire and rescue transported the suspect to UAB where he never regained consciousness and was pronounced dead," said Homewood Police Lieutenant Ken Atkinson.
William's cousin Erica Owens says she lost her grandmother the day before William passed away and now she wants answers about his untimely death.
"We want to know what happened to him. We really don't know what happened to him. We just know that he got tased and now he's dead and the police won't tell us nothing," said Erica Owens.Herzing University President Donald Lewis says the campus was closed at the time, but people sometimes use their parking lot after hours. Lewis says it is not a high crime area and describes the event as highly unusual.
Homewood police confirm that an officer has been placed on paid administrative leave as the Alabama Bureau of Investigation and the Jefferson County Coroner's Office investigate the incident and the cause of death.
"It would be both premature and unreasonable for this department to answer or attempt to answer any questions, respond to any comments, or speculation in order to allow this investigation to be completed. To do otherwise would pose a substantial possibility of confusing or delaying independent and objective analysis of this incident and would be grossly unfair to all parties involved," said Lt. Ken Atkinson.
Of course, the police were not above trying to cover their asses. Several hours after they killed William Owens, police arrived at Owens' home to tell his mother he was dead. Before doing so, the family said police officers asked whether Owens had any health problems including high blood pressure, diabetes or heart disease.
"She told them he had just left the doctor and nothing was wrong with him," Erica Owens said.
A lawyer for the family is calling for a grand jury investigation into the death.
"The Homewood police killed this kid. They Tased him to death," said attorney Byron Perkins. "There's no reason in the world that this 17-year-old kid should be dead."
Please let us know if you have any additional details about this taser-related death.