Officer in West Memphis Shooting Calls Boy's Death a "Tragedy"

WEST MEMPHIS, AR - The West Memphis police officer who shot to death a 12-year-old boy says an investigation into the shooting will reveal aspects of the incident that have not been made public.

West Memphis police chief Bob Paudert has identified the officer who shot DeAuntae Farrow as Sgt. Erik Sammis.  After the shooting, investigators said the officer believed the boy was holding a toy gun.  The boy's family says the boy was holding a soda and a bag of chips.

Sammis told KAIT's sister station, WMC, that he believed the boy posed a threat and that's why he fired.  Sammis says he is haunted by the shooting but says all the facts in the case have not come out.

Sammis says he has three young sons and that the shooting is taking a toll on him.  He told WMC that he is losing sleep and his weight is dropping.

Sammis is on paid leave pending the outcome of a State Police investigation.

Chief Paudert also said Sammis has been the subject of some death threats.

Relatives and community residents have insisted the shooting was unjustified.

State Police have said they will turn their findings over to the FBI, so agents can decide whether to pursue a civil rights investigation.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)