Staples grad is officer that shot unarmed black man

In this 2014 photo made available by the North Miami Police Dept., Fla. shows Officer Jonathan Aledda. Aledda shot therapist Charles Kinsley on Monday, July 18, 2016 in North Miami, Fla. A North Miami police commander has been suspended for allegedly fabricating information about the shooting of the unarmed black therapist. (North Miami Police Dept. via AP)
In this 2014 photo made available by the North Miami Police Dept., Fla. shows Officer Jonathan Aledda. Aledda shot therapist Charles Kinsley on Monday, July 18, 2016 in North Miami, Fla. A North Miami police commander has been suspended for allegedly fabricating information about the shooting of the unarmed black therapist. (North Miami Police Dept. via AP)Associated Press

WESTPORT—The North Miami police officer identified by the department as the cop who shot an unarmed behavioral therapist following a 911 call graduated from Staples High School with the Class of 2004.

Jonathan Aledda, a 30-year-old SWAT team member with four years on the force, has been placed on administrative leave, a standard measure in shootings that involve police, the Miami Herald reported.

The head of a police union representing the former Westport resident, Miami-Dade Police Benevolent Association president John Rivera, read a statement that he identified as from Aledda during a press conference.

“I took this job to save lives and help people,” he said, according to the Herald. “I did what I had to do in a split second to accomplish that and hate to hear others paint me as something I’m not.”

Staples football head coach Marce Petroccio, who coached Aledda when he was on the high school team, called the incident unfortunate. He said details of what happened are still not known and that he hopes those details are “ironed out.”

“When Jon Aledda was in high school and I coached him he was a good kid, focused, and had a good career with us,” Petroccio said. “I’m sure Jon will be willing to accept whatever consequences will come from this incident assuming that we know all the facts about what happened.”

In his senior yearbook, Aledda wrote a note thanking his parents and coaches for their support and guidance through Staples.

Behavioral therapist Charles Kinsey was attempting to retrieve an autistic man in his early 20s who had left a nearby group home where Kinsey works when police arrived last week, the Herald reported. Police were responding to an emergency call to the area.

Rivera said that Aledda was intending to save Kinsey believing that the autistic man had a weapon, but instead accidentally shot Kinsey. A law-enforcement source claimed another officer had radioed suggesting the autistic man had a weapon, according to the Herald.

The incident triggered a Black Lives Matter protest at the North Miami Police Department. Other sources have cited lack of proper training or decision-making issues.

LWeiss@hearstmediact.com; @LauraEWeiss16