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A police officer from Arizona reportedly shot a Somali man to death after he threw rocks at their patrol car in Phoenix on Saturday, Sept 24.

Two patrol units driven by unidentified officers were traveling through the intersection at 19th Avenue and Tuckey Lane in Phoenix at around 6:45 p.m. on Saturday, Sept 24 when unknown objects were thrown at their vehicles. When an officer got out to look around, he discovered a man, later identified as Ali Osman, 34, a Somali man, throwing rocks toward their patrol car, NBC News reported.

When the officer asked him to stop throwing the rocks, Osman, who had a history of mental health problems, allegedly refused and reportedly moved to grab another rock. Seeing this, the officer pulled out his gun and shot at him. Osman, who suffered grievous injuries in the shooting, was taken to a hospital where he later succumbed to his injuries and died.

"(They were) rocks, not boulders, not bricks, rocks," Quacy Smith, an attorney representing Osman's family, said at a news conference. "These are rocks no bigger than my 4-year-old son throws over the backyard to the neighbor's house."

Smith, a former police officer, said that less lethal options, such as a stun gun, could have de-escalated the situation. Smith added that even if an officer was struck by the rock, it does not justify the officers using deadly force against the victim.

"Police chose to take a very non-violent, non-deadly situation and make it deadly," Smith said.

Osman reportedly lived in Tucson and was in Phoenix visiting relatives when the shooting happened. Osman didn't have a violent criminal history and had been treated for mental health issues in the past, Yahoo News reported.

Following the shooting, Osman's close friend, Loay Alyousfi, revealed that Osman was the most selfless person he had met and that "he didn't deserve this."

"I can't believe Ali is gone and he's not coming back," Halima Osman, Osman's sister, said in tears.

Osman's father said that his son was the type of man who wanted to help and take care of everyone. The father said that he wants to know why his son was killed and added that he would speak about what happened every day until he gets justice.

“We didn’t even receive an apology from (police). They try to make it seem like he was in the wrong," Ikran Aden, Osman's niece, said.

Phoenix police have not identified any of the officers involved in the shooting. According to Phoenix police spokesperson Sgt. Phil Krynsky, the involved officers were taken off enforcement positions as part of the protocol in any police shooting.

Krynsky added that an investigation into the shooting is ongoing and that the department would release a critical incident briefing video with body camera footage of the shooting within 14 days.

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