Wednesday, September 20, 2023 – A video released by the Florida police department shows the tense moment a 14-year-old boy who had just fatally shot his mother in a driveway and injured her boyfriend had to be convinced not to shoot himself.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said Adeem Berry’s brother recalled an argument between the suspect and the two victims in their Riverview home on Saturday, September 16 before hearing several gunshots.
Fearing that he could also be killed by his brother, the sibling ran out of the home to escape the rampage.
After leaving his mother dying in a driveway, Berry ran around his area holding a handgun and searching for the injured boyfriend, who had sought refuge in a neighbour’s home.
Police officers upon arrival, spotted Berry, who held the gun to his head and repeatedly threatened to shoot himself.
“I don’t want to hurt you, bro,” a police officer can be heard telling the agitated teen. “I don’t want to shoot you. Put it down. You don’t want to end it this way. You don’t want to end it this way, brother. I promise you.”
Berry continued to point the firearm, prompting officers to continue to plead with him not to fire a bullet to his head.
“Whatever happened today — it can be fixed,” the officer tells Berry. “Don’t pull the trigger.”
Berry then put the gun down at one point, but then began to retrieve it.
Officers then fired a “less lethal round” at Berry, striking him in the hand.
The negotiations continued, with officers telling Berry to move towards them without the firearm.
“My gun is out only because I don’t know what you’re going to do,” an officer tells Berry. “When you get to over here my gun is going in my holster. I promise you.”
Police negotiated with Berry for 16 minutes as he held a gun to his head.
Finally, after several more minutes, Berry walked slowly towards the officers, laid down on the ground, and surrendered.
“The deputies who negotiated with this suspect for more than 16 minutes were calm, collected, and ultimately successful in convincing him to lower his weapon,” said Sheriff Chad Chronister. “They used their remarkable intuition and expertise to determine this suspect was not looking to harm them, but was contemplating suicide.”
With Berry in handcuffs, an officer tells the young man to look at him in the eye.
“I don’t have a clue what just happened in there,” he says, referring to the shootings. “We’re going to find out. But whatever choices you made — that’s the best choice you made all day. Thank you.”
Berry is facing murder and attempted murder charges.