NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly told reporters on Sunday that while the fatal shooting of a Bronx teenager at the hands of two rookie police officers was an "urban tragedy," he believed that the shooting was justified. "I don't see what the officers could have done any differently," Kelly said. "I think that they did what we would expect officers of any experience level would do."

The officer who fired the single bullet from roughly 40 feet that struck and killed 14-year-old Shaaliver Douse was described as a 26-year-old white male. His partner, who did not discharge his firearm, is a 27-year-old black male. Both graduated from the police academy last month, and were assigned to the Bronx's 40 Precinct as part of Operation Impact.

Kelly said Douse fired three times at an unidentified man. When the two officers, who were patrolling less than a block away, responded to the shooting and ordered the teen to drop his weapon, Douse fired a fourth shot. The commissioner said it was unclear whether Douse fired at the officers or his intended target.

Police have yet to determine Douse's motive, and they are actively seeking the teenager's target, who fled the scene before he could be interviewed by police.

Kelly repeatedly declined to speak about 14-year-old Shaaliver Douse's past, which includes the charge of attempted murder of another teenager and at least one other weapons charge, saying that it would be "inappropriate." He also offered his condolences to Douse's family: "Regardless of the circumstances, this is a crushing blow to any parent."

The commissioner did note, "There is obviously some crew and gang related activity in the area," but declined to elaborate.

When we asked if incidents like these ever caused him to reconsider the practice of assigning inexperienced officers to areas of high crime, Kelly appeared incredulous.

"The practice? Reconsider? [Laughs] I'm probably misunderstanding your question, or at least I think I am. They're there because there's a high level of violence in the area."

Below you can watch the surveillance footage of Douse (white shirt, right-center of the screen running towards camera) shoot at his intended target, a man in a black shirt with orange lettering.

Video 1 from Gothamist on Vimeo.