15-year-old boy in Albuquerque, New Mexico passed away in a house fire early Thursday after a SWAT team launched tear gas into the home while in pursuit of a suspect, according to a news release by the Albuquerque Police Department. The police announced the deceased teen identified as Brett Rosenau. The preliminary results of an autopsy cited the cause of death as smoke inhalation. “In our effort to track down and arrest a violent criminal, a young person tragically lost his life,” APD Chief Harold Medina said in a statement.
“I know many people in our community are hurting right now, and appreciate everyone’s patience while the incident is thoroughly investigated. If any of our actions inadvertently contributed to his death, we will take steps to ensure this never happens again. I’ve asked our Victim’s Services Unit to work with the family and provide them support during this painful time.”
Detectives were looking for 27-year-old Qiaunt Kelley, who had violated probation for armed carjacking and stolen vehicle charges. The report says that Kelley “fled from detectives and barricaded himself inside the home”, which Rosenau “followed” him into.
SWAT officers attempted for several hours to get the pair to exit the home from “public address announcements” to “placing a phone into the residence to make contact.”
Contact wasn’t made, therefore, police decided to take more extreme measures. Police used a drone and robots to “activate powder irritants” inside the home to ensure the two males get out the home according to the New York Daily News.
Kelley opened the back door and laid on his back. He eventually sat up, while officers used a “noise flash diversionary device” to get Kelley to follow commands. However, he went back into the home, shutting the door behind him.
Not long after, smoke started to appear from inside the house which was the result of the fire. Kelley finally left the home with burns, and was taken to a hospital for treatment. He was later arrested and arrested into jail overnight on his warrants.
Rosenau was discovered passed away inside the home. Albuquerque Fire Rescue will be conducting an arson investigation to determine the cause of the fire. The report said “because the death occurred while police were taking a suspect into custody, a multi-agency task force is conducting a criminal investigation, and the results will be forwarded to the District Attorney for review.”
“The police had every opportunity to save Brett’s life but instead chose inaction. Brett’s family and community are forever left without their son, brother, and friend. There will be an unfillable void by the loss of his life,” Rosenau’s family said in a statement according to the Albuquerque Journal.
This content was originally published here.