Logan Clark, the Nevada teen who was shot by school police back in December for bringing knives to school, is speaking out for the first time since the incident, and he insists he needed the knives for protection.
Cell phone footage showed Clark waving two knives at a crowd of students at Hug High School when, moments later, a school police officer fired a shot at him. He was wounded and later suffered a stroke while in the hospital, which left him with brain trauma that makes it difficult for him to speak and requires him to wear a helmet. He and his family have maintained that he brought the knives to school to defend himself against a bully.
“When you went to school that day, did you feel like you had to protect yourself?” Mireya Villarreal of CBS News asked the teen in an interview published Thursday.
“Yeah,” Clark responded.
When asked if bringing weapons to school was an appropriate way to address bullying, his grandmother Nancy Pitchford said, “It’s not the answer. But to a 14-year-old kid, I guess it is the […] you know, not to hurt anybody with the knives, but just to get them off of you.”
“I’m not defending my son bringing knives to school whatsoever,” Clark’s mother, Cheryl Pitchford chimed in. “But what I ask myself is, what makes the school officer think that it’s okay to shoot my son?”
While the family admits that Clark’s decision to bring the knives to school was a poor choice, they don’t believe it warranted such a reaction from the officer. The Reno Police Department said that Clark repeatedly ignored the officer’s commands to drop the weapons, but his family doesn’t think Clark heard him.
“Why not use a Taser? […] Why not shoot him in the foot?” Nancy Pitchford asked. “And having other kids standing around behind Logan and could’ve struck another kid.”
Two separate investigations are now being conducted to determine whether the shooting was justified and whether charges should be brought against either the officer in question or Clark himself. In the meantime, Clark misses his friends, but is not eager to go back to school.
“No. Not there,” he said.