MOBILE, Ala. (WALA)– Three days after 18-year-old Treyh Webster was shot and killed by Mobile police executing a search warrant at his home on Lakeview Drive, his family is breaking their silence, sharing their side of the deadly encounter.
Treyh Webster had been out on bond for a December robbery.
Police say that a week before he was killed, he and his brother Thyre tried to intimidate a witness to that robbery to get them not to testify, even shooting at him.
Police went to the Webster’s home Thursday morning with a search warrant, looking for guns and to arrest the brothers, but the family says the details of how that morning played out tell a different story from what police have said.
“They didn’t have to kill him,” said their mother, Georgette Sons.
The MPD swat team burst into their home just before 6:00 a.m. and police say Treyh Webster opened fire on them as they moved deeper into the home.
“Gave commands, they tried to suppress the fire of the individual by deploying a flash bang before returning fire, the subject continued to fire shots at the law enforcement officers,” said Chief Lawrence Battiste.
An officer fired back, killing Treyh Webster.
“He didn’t deserve to die.”
Webster’s family says they did not see him fire at officers.
They say, if he did he was only trying to protect their home and did not know he was facing police.
Treyh’s mother, Georgette Sons, is still recovering after being shot in the foot during the shootout.
She claims there was no knock at their door and says they had no idea it was police who had entered their home.
“We thought it was an intruder,” said Sons.
“None of them ever heard the word police. They were told to get the f down shut the f up, that’s what they heard,” said ChaLea Tisdale, the family’s lawyer.
Chief Lawrence Battiste says officers did make it clear who they were.
“The officers did announce their presence. What they said to begin with, ‘Mobile Police Department. Search warrant. Mobile Police Department. Search warrant.’ It’s repetitive.”
But it is not clear if officers knocked at the door before entering the home.
“I want justice for my son. They didn’t have to treat us like they treated us. If they would have knocked on the door we would have answered and came outside.”
Both the family lawyer and Mobile Police say at least one of the brothers realized it was police and tried to alert everyone else inside of the home.
“The older son realized that this must be the police, he put his gun down and he began yelling through the house ’12 12 12′ to let his brothers know and the rest of his family that it was the police and not an intruder,” said Tisdale.
“When you talk about the ideal of law enforcement being present and no one not knowing they were there, a family member indicated early on it’s law enforcement we take that as a blessing in disguise that he knew it was law enforcement and he tried to alert the rest of his family, ‘Hey, stand down. It’s law enforcement.'”
The family says it was not enough.
“All they had to do was knock on the door. They would have come out he would have surrendered himself, Thyre would have surrendered himself and this young man would be alive.”
While none of the swat team officers were wearing body cameras, the family says investigators took surveillance cameras that were set up outside of their home.
They believe those cameras will prove what they’re saying is true.
Their lawyer plans to work on getting those back on Monday.
Thrye Webster is being held without bond in Metro Jail. He’s charged with intimidating a witness and reckless endangerment.