Dimitri Smalls case: Alleged gunman's family claims he was shot in the back by West Palm officer

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- The alleged gunman who was shot by a West Palm Beach police officer Sunday remains at Saint Mary's Medical in police custody while he recovers from his injuries.

The shooting happened on Sunday at the Woodstock Apartments on the 1800 block of North Congress after police say they received a call about a suspicious person in the complex.

Police spokesperson Allen Ortman said Dimitri Smalls, 20, was shot in the stomach after he allegedly ran from police and refused to put down his gun.

The family of Smalls appeared outside the hospital on Monday expressing frustration that they could not see Smalls. His mother, Tabitha Gilbert, also said she does not agree with the story the police are telling.

"I'm not saying I don't buy their story, it's not completely true. That's what I'm saying. It can't all be true. First of all, they're lying about where he was shot at. So how come they keep saying he was shot in the stomach when they know he was not. He was shot in his back," said Gilbert.

A different spokesperson with the police on Monday, Elliot Cohen, would not specify where Smalls was shot but said officers are justified in using their firearm when suspects put lives at risk.

"No matter where that suspect is, no matter how that suspect is oriented, if that suspect has a gun and he is told by the officer to drop the gun and he doesn't drop the gun, the officer's training and the officer's responsibility is to protect the people in that complex and to protect himself," said Cohen.

According to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's booking records, Smalls is being held on charges of carrying a concealed weapon and possession of a weapon. Other charges could still be pending.

Investigators said the officer involved in the shooting is a 24-year veteran who was not hurt in the shooting. He was placed on paid administrative leave, which is standard protocol.

Once Smalls is released from the hospital, he will be booked at the Palm Beach County Jail.

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