Madison Tense as City Deals With Police Shooting of Unarmed Teen

Friends and family gathered in front of the home where 19-year old killed.

ByABC News
March 8, 2015, 8:44 PM

— -- Emotions were raw today at a church service to mourn the death of an unarmed 19-year-old black man shot by a white Madison, Wisconsin, police officer, but demonstrations on the city's streets were tense but peaceful.

Protesters faced off with police today outside the house where Tony Robinson was shot Friday night, and marchers carried banners saying "Black Lives Matter."

A community group planned to gather this afternoon to discuss the shooting. Organizers encouraged the community to bring children and crayons for a discussion about the events of the weekend.

A balloon memorial had been placed near the site of the shooting this morning.

Friends and family who gather Saturday night in front of the home where Robinson was shot told ABC News they were concerned about safety in their community.

"I worry about my kids even walking down the street," Lynn Robinson, a neighbor of Tony Robinson's, said.

PHOTO: Tony Robinson in a photo provided by his mother, Andrea Irwin.
Tony Robinson in a photo provided by his mother, Andrea Irwin.

"Us being teenagers and you know African American teenagers, you know it can happen to us," Darian Grant, a classmate of Robinson's, said.

Madison Police Chief Mike Koval identified the officer who shot and killed Robinson Friday night as Matt Kenny, 45, a 12-year veteran of the force.

Kenny was involved in a shooting in 2007, but was exonerated, Koval said.

Robinson's mother Andrea Irwin said she was shocked by his violent death, saying the teen was never a "violent person."

"It baffles me," she said.

According to court documents obtained by ABC News, Robinson pleaded guilty to charges of being a party to armed robbery in April 2014, and was under supervision when police responded to a complaint about him Friday night.

Robinson was jumping in and out of traffic on Friday night and allegedly responsible for a recent battery, Koval said.

In recordings of the 911 calls, police dispatchers discussing the suspect "yelling and jumping in front of cars" call him "Tony."

Kenny went to an apartment where he thought Robinson had gone, Koval said. The officer heard a disturbance inside and entered, where an altercation with Robinson began, the police chief said.

PHOTO: Tony Robinson is seen in this photo provided by his mother, Andrea Irwin.
Tony Robinson is seen in this photo provided by his mother, Andrea Irwin.

Koval said Kenny then shot Robinson, who later died at the hospital.

Kenny was also injured, said Koval, but he did not describe the extent of his wounds. The officer, who was involved in a police-involved shooting in 2007 and was exonerated of any wrongdoing, was placed on administrative leave with pay pending the outcome of the investigation, Koval said.

After Robinson's death late Friday, demonstrations condemning the shooting began. A crowd gathered at the house where the shooting happened and then left. Some people then headed to the downtown building that houses the Madison Police Department's Central District offices.

Robinson's family has urged demonstrators to remain peaceful in his honor.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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