Mother speaks out after son killed in an officer-involved shooting

BURLINGTON, Iowa. (KWQC) - A mother speaking out after her son is shot and killed in an officer-involved shooting. Early Wednesday morning, Burlington police responded to a shots fired call, ending with the suspect, Caleb Daniel Peterson, dead.

The Burlington community mourning Caleb Peterson's death.

Caleb's mother, Betty Peterson, knows her son made a bad choice on Wednesday morning and is hoping the community can learn from his mistake."I don't know why my child had a gun. I don't know where my child got a gun, but he got out of that car knowing he had a gun in his hand and that those policemen were going to have to shoot him" said Peterson.

"I won't be able to watch him grow as the beautiful man that he was and I don't want people thinking my son was some kind of thug. I know he made bad choices but he was a good person, and anyone that knew him knew that. There's a lot of these kids that are good. We just have to invest in them... kids don't realize the choices they make have huge repercussions as adults."

Betty Peterson, in tears after her son was shot and killed Wednesday morning by a police officer, "I want to be angry at somebody but who am I supposed to be angry at? My son? I can't be angry at my son, I love him. I can't be angry at the police, everyone knows you pull a gun on police you're gonna be shot. That's what they're there for, to protect this community. I'm just broken."

Police responded to a shot's fired call just before 1 A.M., the only person injured was Caleb, "I am just so very thankful to God that no one else was hurt that night. I know shots went into homes, I don't know if that was from my son's gun or the police's guns. It doesn't matter. It was the position that he put them in."

Betty worked near law enforcement for nearly a decade, so she knows how this will impact those involved, "I saw the effects when an officer shoots and my heart goes out to those 3 officers that night. It makes me sick that my son put them in a position like that and I just can't imagine the emotions that they have."

As she mourns the death of her son, Betty wants the community to take action: "this whole community has to look out, be more aware of what our kids are doing. Some of the simplest things to us are huge to them. My son spouted with depression and we had gotten over things and I just assumed we would get over the things I thought he was struggling with."

While Caleb made a bad decision, she wants everyone to remember him the way she does, "his smile, his laughter- I was contagious and he loved. He loved fiercely."

The autopsy was scheduled for Thursday, and the Peterson family is waiting to hear back on those results to see if that could help explain Caleb's actions. This is the 10th shooting in Burlington since June.