Who was Nyah Mway? New York 13-year-old shot, killed after police said he had replica gun (2024)

Natalie Neysa Alund,Edward HarrisUSA TODAY

A 13-year-old boy. A police foot chase. A single deadly shot.

The scene, police say, began with two juveniles fleeing them, one − a 13-year-old boy named Nyah Mway − accused of displaying what appeared to be a handgun.

Following a demand for justice from the community, the Utica Police Department released body camera footage Sunday showing a police officer fatally shoot Nyah after the boy allegedly aimed an object at the officer later determined to be a pellet gun.

The shooting in Utica, about 55 miles east of Syracuse, was also witnessed by civilians and sparked outrage throughout the 10th-most populous city in New York State.

On Monday, an internal police investigation as well as a state investigation into the police shooting were underway.

Here's what we know so far about the deadly incident that claimed the young boy's life.

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What do police say Nyah Mway did?

The incident unfolded just before 10:20 p.m. on Friday as Utica police officers conducted a pedestrian stop of two juveniles in a residential area on Shaw Street, police said.

During the stop, Nyah fled from police and displayed what appeared to be a handgun during a chase, Utica Police Chief Mark Williams said. An officer then fired one shot striking the boy.

Nyah was taken to a hospital where, police said, he died from his injuries.

The other youth, age 13, was not injured, according to police and, at the scene, police recovered a replica GLOCK 17 handgun.

"As always, we are committed to transparency and earning the public’s trust in our investigations," police said in a statement after the shooting. "As much information as allowable will be released during this process."

Body camera footage published on the police department'sYouTube channelSunday shows six videos of varying length. Police also released photos of the pellet gun Nyah reportedly pulled on the officer.

Who shot Nyah Mway?

The police officers involved in the incident were identified as:

  • Patrick Husnay, a six-year veteran who fired at the boy;
  • Bryce Patterson, a four-year veteran;
  • Andrew Citriniti, a two-and-a-half year veteran.

Footage shows the officers approach Nyah and another youth on a bicycle. Patterson tells the boys they are being stopped because one of them was riding a bike in the road. Nyah is seen walking nearby.

After officers ask if they could pat Nyah down to see if he had any weapons, Nyah − initially who had his hands in the air − is seen running away, footage shows. Patterson and Husnay run after Nyah, with Patterson tackling the teen to the ground after a short chase. At the same time, officers are heard in the footage screaming "He’s got a gun."

"It was one shot," Husnay is heard saying in the footage. "It was me."

Footage shows Husnay had his gun drawn and appeared to shoot Nyah while he was on the ground.

All three officers were on routine paid administrative leave Monday, police said.

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Who is Nyah Mway?

Nyah had recently graduated from 8th grade at Donovan Middle School.

"It is with profound sadness that I share the heartbreaking news of the passing of one of our Utica City School District students," Interim Superintendent Dr. Kathleen Davis released in a statement through the district's website Saturday. "On behalf of our entire school community, I extend our deepest condolences and heartfelt wishes for strength to the student’s family and loved ones during this unimaginably difficult time."

The boy was a member of the Karen ethnic minority, the Observer-Dispatch, part of the USA TODAY Network reported. He was also a refugee born in Myanmar, a Southeast Asian nation formerly known as Burma that borders countries including China and India.

The fatal shooting caused outrage and calls for justice in the city's Karen immigrant community, an ethnic minority from Southeast Asia.

According to The Center, a nonprofit that helps resettle refugees, Utica is home to more than 4,200 people from Myanmar.

On Saturday night, hundreds attended a candlelight vigil to celebrate the boy's life.

"We gather here to honor and support our little brother, Nyah Mway," said speaker Kay Klo, director at Midtown Utica Community Center. "He was tragically murdered by police officers... The story they told at the press conference, what witnesses say they say, and what was seen in the video. None of it adds up. The police officers need to be investigated and held accountable for their actions."

Who is investigating the police shooting?

The New York Attorney General’s Office of Special Investigations announced Saturday it had opened an investigation into the boy's death.

Under state law, that office has the lead criminal investigatory role in officer-involved shootings.

Meanwhile, Utica police are conducting an internal investigation with its Professional Standards Unit to determine if policies, procedures, and training were followed.

Where is Utica?

Utica, a city with a population of about 65,000 residents, is in Mohawk Valley which sits between the Adirondack Mountains and Catskill Mountains.

It's the county seat of Oneida County and located about 95 miles west of Albany.

Contributing: Casey Pritchard

Natalie Neysa Alund is a senior reporter for USA TODAY. Reach her at nalund@usatoday.com and follow her on X @nataliealund.

Who was Nyah Mway? New York 13-year-old shot, killed after police said he had replica gun (2024)
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