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Parents say teen who ran, shot at police was good kid in "wrong crowd" | News

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Parents say teen who ran, shot at police was good kid in "wrong crowd"


ATLANTA -- The parents of 18-year-old Darius Smith didn't know he was in Atlanta until they received a call alerting them he had died in a shootout with police. 

"He was a good kid with the wrong crowd," Father Morris Smith told 11Alive's Rebecca Lindstrom.  Smith was living in Greer, South Carolina. His parents didn't know why he was in Atlanta Monday night when police attempted to pull over the car he was riding in with driver Isaiah Irby. 

According to police, an officer saw the car turn the wrong way on Ted Turner Drive and hit another vehicle. Police say Irby and Smith jumped out and ran. Police quickly caught the driver, but say Smith started shooting at police as he hid behind a dumpster. Police fired back and Smith was killed by that gunfire. Police say the recovered drugs and guns in the vehicle, as well as a handgun with Smith's body. 

According to police records in Greenville County, South Carolina, Smith was arrested in March for carrying a weapon on school property, receiving stolen goods, and possessing drugs at school. 

When Lindstrom spoke with Smith's parents by phone on Tuesday, they admitted their son had problems with the law, but still questioned police actions. They want to know why Atlanta police didn't try non-lethal methods to bring him into custody. 

In a statement sent out by Atlanta Police, a spokesperson said, "An armed man fled a traffic accident in Downtown Atlanta, fired at several Atlanta Police officers, and was killed when the officers returned fire. Officers were able to quickly contain the situation and as a result no citizens or officers were harmed during the incident."