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Father of anti-violence activist Tyree Moorehead speaks after son shot, killed by Baltimore police

Father of anti-violence activist Tyree Moorehead speaks after son shot, killed by Baltimore police
Father of anti-violence activist Tyree Moorehead speaks after son shot, killed by Baltimore police 02:40

BALTIMORE -- Cell phone video showed the deadly encounter between Baltimore police officers and activist Tyree Moorehead Sunday afternoon. 

Police said Moorehead laid on top of a woman while armed with a knife and refused to drop the weapon. They said that is when an officer shot him multiple times. The woman suffered minor injuries.

Here is how police described their response: "Western District Officers arrived on scene, exited their vehicle and gave verbal commands for the male to get on the ground. The male, holding the knife, went to the ground on top of the female. One officer discharged his weapon, striking the male multiple times."

Moorehead was pronounced dead at a hospital. A makeshift memorial marks the scene where it happened at W. Lafayette and N. Fulton Avenues in West Baltimore.

Moorehead's father told WJZ Investigator Mike Hellgren he has concerns.

"They shouldn't have shot my son. When they told him to lay down, he did that," Carlton Moorehead said. "That officer shot him repeatedly, and that was not right."

For years, Moorehead has worked to stop violence in Baltimore, spray painting "no shoot zones" across the city. He was killed near the first one he ever painted.

"It's like he wrote his own book. This is where it started and where it ended," said his friend Huli Shallone. "If you knew Tyree, you knew his heart. He's a real good guy. He stood for what he believed in. He was all about the kids and saving the community, and if something is going on, he's going to be right there for you."

Minister Christina Flowers spoke to Moorehead shortly before his death. "I was definitely shocked. I was definitely heartbroken. In a city like Baltimore, we are reminded every day of the lives that we are losing here," Flowers told Hellgren 

Moorehead made headlines three months ago when he was shot in the neck near his home in East Baltimore. 

He spoke to WJZ following a mass shooting in May about his anti-violence work. 

"You don't have far to run if you're a shooter," Moorehead said. "Now, you don't just have to worry about the law. You've got to worry about the people who live in the communities who are tired."

Now, loved ones want answers about what led to Moorehead's own death and whether police acted appropriately.

In a statement, the Maryland Attorney General's office wrote, "The Independent Investigations Division will generally release the name of the involved officer within 48 hours of the incident, although that period may be extended if there is a specific reason to believe that an officer's safety is at risk. The officer's body-worn camera was active at the time of the incident. The video will be released in accordance with Baltimore Police Department and Independent Investigations Division policies."

By state law, the attorney general's office is the lead investigative agency in cases involving fatal police shootings.

Here is the BPD policy on the release of video from officers' cameras. 

Reverend Flowers wants to reflect on Moorehead's legacy, "Tyree was not only a homeless advocate, he was a voice for the less fortunate," she said. 

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