A pregnant mother and her eight-year-old son have been left shaken after they were accidentally held at gunpoint by police in California.
Shanice Stewart was driving her young son, Brandon, to soccer practice around 5 p.m. on Oct. 17 when officers pulled her over, with a helicopter hovering over her vehicle, according to KCRA.
Police in Sacramento reportedly thought her young son was a teenager wanted for two felonies.
“Really? My eight-year-old baby fits the description of the suspect you're looking for?” Ms. Stewart told KCRA. “It just didn't make sense to me.”
Ms Stewart initially thought it was a traffic stop and pulled over to the side of the freeway and rolled all her windows down, according to a post she shared on Facebook.
“I lost it immediately because I didn't know or understand what was going on,” she told ABC7.
She claimed the freeway came to a complete stop behind her and she was instructed to throw her car keys out the window and slowly get out of the car.
The pregnant mother said an officer then saw that the young boy was not the person they were looking for and apologized.
In a video recorded by a bystander and shared by Ms Stewart, the eight-year-old can be heard screaming desperately at the officers.
Ms Stewart wrote that her son was “screaming for my safety”, trying to tell officers that “his mum was just taking me to practice”.
He said he feared the officer was going to “shoot him” because the officer allegedly kept repeating to the mother that the child fit the description of what they were looking for and had spotted him earlier when the couple were in their car. .
Ms Stewart is baffled that the entire freeway was closed, multiple police officers were on the scene and a helicopter ended up flying overhead, just because her young son matched the description.
Police told ABC News they mistakenly identified Brandon via helicopter surveillance as he and his mother left for soccer practice.
According to police, he reportedly fits the description because of his hair and the color of his clothing.
Police said in a statement to the agency that they launched a “high-risk stand” because the suspect they were looking for had a history with firearms.
They said they ended the stop when they realized the boy was not who they were looking for.
“We must acknowledge that a case of mistaken identity has occurred,” police said in a statement The independent.
“Our officers have given an explanation and an apology to the mother and her son. Our department has been in contact with the mother since the incident. We recognize the impact that police interactions can have on members of our community.”
According to the Police, the wanted suspect is still at large.
Ms Stewart told ABC News it was a “life changer” for both of them.
Brandon now asks his mother to take a route on the road instead of the highway and only sits in the back seat, where he feels safer.
When a police car passes, he tells his mother to drive carefully.