Chuukese teen shot dead by police in Vancouver, Washington

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photo courtesy of Conner Bloxham.

Guam – A 16-year-old teen from Chuuk was shot dead by police on Tuesday in Vancouver, Washington while attempting to diffuse an altercation.

Clayton Joseph moved to Vancouver from the Federate States of Micronesian about a year ago. He was a student at Evergreen High School.

“Conner Bloxham, the friend who spoke on behalf of Joseph’s family, said they told him that Joseph was trying to defuse a situation when he was shot. Specifically, he was trying to stop someone from attacking their girlfriend,” according to a Feb. 20 report from the Columbian, a local publication.

“They don’t want people to get the impression he was a troublemaker. He was trying to prevent a situation from happening,” the Columbian quoted Boxham as saying.

The report states that the incident began about 11:05 p.m. Tuesday when police responded to a report of a disturbance between a male and female at an apartment complex in the 1200 block of Southeast Ellsworth Road.

The Columbian said witnesses reported “that two males, both possibly armed, engaged in an altercation in the parking lot,” where responding officers encountered Joseph.

“Police said the boy had brandished a knife and refused commands to drop the weapon before he was shot,” the report said.

Joseph was taken to a hospital for medical treatment but later died.

The yet-to-be identified officer, who shot the boy, was uninjured. He has been placed on critical incident leave, a standard department protocol in an officer-involved shooting.

“Bloxham said the family wants the community to know Joseph was a good kid who stayed home a lot and was diligent about completing his school work. Joseph was learning English while living in Micronesia, Bloxham said, and could speak the language fairly well,” the Columbian reported.

A GoFundMe drive has been initiated for the Joseph family.

“Those who had the blessing of knowing Clayton understand that words alone cannot describe his bright, full, and loving nature. His kindness and strength left an impression on all who met him, and the cherished memories of our time with him will continue to put smiles on our face. He is an example to his family, his community, and to the many others who he called brother and sister. As a large family that recently migrated to the United States, and with 3 of Clayton’s brothers still distant from the rest of the family, the burden of their loss is especially heavy for the Josephs to bear as they struggle to make ends meet,” reads the inline fundraising campaign.

To make a donation you can visit www.gofundme.com/for-the-joseph-family.

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Jolene Toves
Jolene joined the PNC team in 2017, as a producer, co-anchor and investigative reporter covering law enforcement, courts and crimes. Notable coverage includes the Ehlert case, the Mark Torre Jr. trial, the Allan Agababa trial, exclusive pieces on the Life of a Drug Dealer/Addict, and Life behind bars...the story of Honofre Chargualaf and Kevin Cruz. In 2019, she was promoted to Assistant News Director and Lead Anchor. From 2015 to 2017 she served as Public Relations and Promotions Manager, for the Hotel Nikko Guam handling local radio and advertorial promotions, as well as produced and directed tv commercials for the hotel. Prior to this she worked with KUAM for three years as a reporter and segment host. She began her journalism career in 2012, working with Glimpses of Guam contributing to the Guam Business Magazine, R&R magazine, MDM magazine and the Marianas Business Journal.