Second family tragedy — Brother of man found hanged dies in police shooting

The half-brother of a black man found hanged from a tree last week in Southern California was killed Wednesday after a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputy opened fire.

5 hangings across nation ruled suicides, but families not convinced

The half-brother of a black man found hanged from a tree last week in Southern California was killed Wednesday after a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputy opened fire, according to news reports citing the family’s attorney.

The shooting shortly before 5 p.m. Wednesday in Rosamond killed Terron Jammal Boone, CNN reported.

His 24-year-old half-sibling, Robert Fuller, was found hanged June 10 at a park near Palmdale City Hall, about 53 miles from San Bernardino County, where police found another black man, Malcolm Harsch, 38, hanging from a tree May 31.

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The deaths of Fuller and Harsch coincided with three separate hangings across the nation since George Floyd’s death, the most recent happening Wednesday in Houston when a black teenager was found hanging from a tree.

Robert Fuller was found dead June 10 hanging from a tree near the city hall in Palmdale, California.
Robert Fuller was found dead June 10 hanging from a tree near the city hall in Palmdale, California.

Officials have so far ruled every case a suicide, but many family members, including Fuller’s, said they are not convinced.

The families of the California men said they were not suicidal.

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Fuller’s family is calling for an independent autopsy after the county’s medical examiner ruled the death a suicide last Friday.

The community has banded together recently for vigils and protests, while authorities maintain there was no foul play found in either case.

Boone's shooting death, meanwhile, was being investigated by sheriff's officials alongside personnel from multiple other independent law enforcement units, according to CNN.

“This afternoon I had to notify the sisters of Robert Fuller that their half-brother Terron Jammal Boone was killed by Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies in Kern County,” family attorney Jamon Hicks said in a statement.

Details of the shooting

Detectives reportedly saw Boone driving and identified him as a suspect in a domestic assault and kidnapping, according to a report by NPR.

Police followed his vehicle and pulled him over around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.

“The suspect opened the front passenger door of the vehicle and engaged the Deputies by firing multiple rounds at them with a handgun,” Deputy James Nagao said in a statement. “At that time, an Officer involved shooting occurred during which the suspect was struck several times in the upper torso,” the report said.

Boone died at the scene.

Gunfire also hit a woman driving the vehicle, but a 7-year-old girl in the car but was unharmed, the report said. The woman was treated at the hospital and released.

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Back in Palmdale, the Department of Justice and the FBI are reviewing the investigation’s conclusion that Fuller’s death was a suicide, although officials “felt it prudent to roll that back and continue to look deeper,” said Los Angeles County Medical Examiner Coroner Dr. Jonathan Lucas, according to CNN.

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Investigators said they are looking into Fuller’s medical history, the contents of his cellphone and neighborhood surveillance video that may help determine his movements up to the time of his death.

They are also seeking to interview the witness who reported the hanging.

The coroner in Victorville examining Harsch is awaiting toxicology results before releasing his official cause of death.