Mother of teen shot, killed by Marion police: ‘He had his whole life ahead of him’

MARION, Ark. -- A West Memphis mother is heartbroken and searching for answers after Marion police shot and killed her 16-year-old son this week.

Two Marion police officers are on paid administrative leave after authorities say Aries Clark was fatally shot outside a youth facility.

"I feel like I’m standing outside of myself and watching this happen," said his mother Vickie Clark.

She said she can’t wrap her head around what took place Tuesday night.

“She just called me and said, 'It’s an emergency situation, you have to come to the hospital,' and basically told us that he wasn’t going to make it.”

She found out her son had been shot by Marion police outside East Arkansas Youth Services, a facility for at-risk and delinquent youth.

She was told it was a standoff but says Aries was shot in the back of his head, his back and his rear end.

“They killed him.”

She says Aries had been in DHS custody as they dealt with disputes at home and therapy, and that he’d been staying at the youth facility for less than a week when she got a call Monday that he ran away.

“The more we try to dig into it, the more we’re being pushed to the side about it," she said.

Aries went back to the facility Tuesday night, but Vickie doesn't know how he got there or why he was returning.

Police were called around 7 p.m., and shots were fired soon after they arrived.

Aries was shot outside the front of the facility, but it's not clear if he made it past the first set of doors or whether he was armed.

“There’s been so many conflicting stories as to what he had, if he had a weapon. At first it was a gun, then it was a BB Gun and then it was just some unknown weapon they felt was a threat.”

She says the shooting was unnecessary, as they took away a vibrant, talkative and creative young man.

Vickie says Aries had attended West Memphis High School and enjoyed rapping, writing and graphic design.

“I love my son with every breath of my body and I will miss him terribly. He had his whole life ahead of him.”

She says she does plan on filing a lawsuit as their family continues to try and get answers.

The Arkansas State Police aren’t releasing any more details about the investigation and the youth facility center will only say Aries Clark was not a resident at the time of the shooting.