Bullet ricocheted off the ground and killed teen

Family and friends seen mourning during the funeral of Solomon Tekah, outside Haifa, on July 2, 2019. The 19-year-old Ethiopian man was shot and killed few days ago in Kiryat Haim by an off-duty police officer, outside Kiryat Ata. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

(JTA) — An investigation into the shooting by an off-duty police officer that left an Ethiopian-Israeli teen dead has confirmed that the officer fired at the ground and that the bullet ricocheted into Solomon Tekah’s body.

The family of the killed 19-year-old on July 8 asked the Justice Ministry’s Police Internal Investigations Department to see the ballistics report and autopsy report.

The investigation appears to corroborate the officer’s claim that he shot his gun after feeling threatened while attempting to break up a street fight in the Haifa suburb of Kiryat Haim, in northern Israel on June 30. The officer, whose family was with him at the local park when the shooting took place, remains under house arrest and his name under a gag order.

Tekah’s family visited his grave on Monday to mark the end of the seven-day shiva mourning period.

After two days of sometimes violent demonstrations last week immediately following Tekah’s death, his family asked that the demonstrations be put on hold until after shiva.  On July 7, a family spokesman said that Tekah’s father, Worka, said that protests should continue but “without violence, in a peaceful way.”

Israeli media reports said Monday that it is unlikely that the officer will be charged with manslaughter, as had been expected, and that he could face lesser charges or disciplinary action instead.

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