MELBOURNE, Florida (CBS46) – The parents of a college student from metro Atlanta who was shot and killed by police on a Florida Tech campus have hired an attorney to investigate whether police could’ve used nonlethal force to subdue their son.
Alhaji Sow, 18, a graduate of North Clayton High School, was shot and killed Friday night during a confrontation with Melbourne police and Florida Tech security officers. Police said officers responded to campus after getting reports of a man “wielding a knife in a threatening manner” and “assaulting students.” They later fired their weapons after Sow lunged at them with a knife, police said.
At a news conference Wednesday in Melbourne, Sow’s father told reporters he needs to know more about what led to the shooting.
“We just want to know why, why Alhaji had to die like this,” he said.
Sow was in his first semester of college, but he was considered a sophomore at Florida Tech because of the college credit hours he earned taking dual-enrollment classes during high school, according to his father who added that his son planned to transfer to Georgia Tech next year to study cybersecurity.
Sow’s father said it wasn’t in son’s nature to hurt anyone.
“When you kill a fly at the house, Alhaji will say, ‘Don’t kill that fly. That fly has a life. That fly has a right to live,’” his father said.
Sow’s family has hired Florida attorney Greg Francis to investigate why officers didn’t use nonlethal force like Tasers to subdue Sow.
Francis told reporters Sow had no history of mental illness but said it’s obvious he was having some sort of mental episode at the time of his death.
“On behalf of this family, on behalf of students on Florida Tech campus that there be some crisis intervention training of that security force on campus,” Francis said. “We’ll get to the bottom of this.”
“Alhaji was going to come home during the holidays so we could spend time together,” his father said, “but unfortunately, that is not going to happen.”