Brett Rosenau, 15, was killed in a SWAT raid, according to the Albuquerque Police Department. On Thursday, July 7, they announced in an official statement that the child died of smoke inhalation.
However, he was not the intended victim of the police confrontation. Police tracked Qiaunt Kelley, 27, to a home in southeast Albuquerque on July 6, where he locked himself. Police information shows Brett Rosenau later entered the same house. No matter how many times they were warned, neither of them left the residence.
To get Rosenau and Kelley outdoors, the SWAT team used drones to drop powder irritants into homes, Albuquerque police added. Hours later, authorities discovered thick smoke coming from where the fugitive had locked himself. Firefighters found Rosenau dead at home when Kelly was rescued and taken to the hospital for treatment of his wounds.
According to a preliminary autopsy report, Brett Rosenau’s fire-related death was smoke inhalation.
Demonstrations are underway as Brett Rosenau becomes the latest victim of police abuse.
The police tactics that led to the teen’s death last week shocked the Albuquerque community. The Albuquerque Police Department engaged in an hours-long standoff as they searched for Qiaunt Kelley, a felon charged with probation violations for armed carjacking, vehicle theft, and two prior shootings. In the end, Rosenau was killed in a house fire.
Albuquerque Fire and Rescue is investigating the cause of the fire. Chief Medina admitted that equipment used to release irritants into the house may have contributed to the tragic incident. However, according to a police press release:
With no reported fires in Albuquerque for years, APD deployed equipment for indoor use to reduce the risk of starting the equipment.
In a statement, Mayor Tim Keller condemned the young boy’s untimely death. He says:
Brett Rosenau’s mother launched a GoFundMe campaign to help pay for her son’s funeral.