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A California officer fatally shot a 17-year-old girl. Days later, the teen's family still doesn't know why

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A family is seeking answers after a teen was fatally shot on a highway while driving in Anaheim, California.

Posted: Jul 11, 2019 6:11 AM
Updated: Jul 11, 2019 6:11 AM

Hannah Williams' father still has no idea why a police officer shot and killed his 17-year-old daughter.

It's been several days since the California teen encountered a Fullerton police officer while driving in the nearby city of Anaheim.

At some point, Hannah's car and the officer's police SUV "made physical contact," the Orange County District Attorney's office said.

"An officer-involved shooting occurred and a replica Beretta 92 FS handgun was recovered at the scene next to" the teen, the DA's office said. "The gun was later identified as a replica handgun designed to look like a real Beretta 92 FS."

Hannah was taken to a hospital, where she later died.

That was Friday. Authorities have not provided any more details about what prompted the shooting.

"We want to know why police felt the need to shoot and kill a 17 year old unarmed teen girl," Hannah's father Benson Williams said.

The replica gun found near Hannah did not have a bright orange tip, as required by federal law, that would indicate it was fake gun.

But the Rev. Jarrett Maupin, speaking on behalf of the family, said it's not clear whether the fake gun was Hannah's.

It started with a trip to the veterinarian

The Fullerton officer, who was not publicly identified, was driving in Anaheim to take his police K-9 partner to the veterinarian, the district attorney's office said.

"He observed a 17-year-old female driver, who was also eastbound on the 91 Freeway at a high rate of speed, near Glassell Avenue" the DA's office said.

"At some point, the two vehicles made physical contact. An officer-involved shooting occurred and a replica Beretta 92 FS handgun was recovered at the scene next to the female."

Anaheim police, along with the county district attorney's office, are investigating the shooting because it happened within Anaheim city limits.

Fullerton police are investigating whether its officer may have violated department policy. The officer is on paid administrative leave while authorities investigate.

It's unclear when authorities will tell the public what prompted the shooting.

"The circumstances that led to the shooting are under investigation and are not immediately available," Anaheim police said Saturday.

The family wants the governor to get involved

Maupin said the family would like Gov. Gavin Newsom to consider directing the state Attorney General's office to launch its own independent investigation.

"We still do not have clear answers about what happened," her family said a statement, read aloud by the teen's godmother, Lynette Campbell.

"Hannah was a beloved daughter, sister, niece, granddaughter, friend. She had her whole life ahead of her."

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