BAY SHORE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A shoplifting suspect has died after being shot by an officer as he was fleeing from a store in Bay Shore, Suffolk County police said.

Officers were responding to a reported robbery at the Best Buy on West Sunrise Highway around 7:45 p.m. Sunday when a witness identified Denzel Brown, 21, of Amityville, as the suspect, police said.

Police said Brown had stolen two pairs of Beats headphones before fleeing the store, 1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera reported.

An officer then found Brown hiding behind a Toys R Us, and when the officer approached, Brown took off running through the parking lot, police said.

The officer tried to Taser him, but Brown kept running and tried to open several car doors along the way, cops said. When he reached a nearby residential neighborhood, he forced his way into a car with a woman and two young boys inside, police said.

Police say the two children, ages 4 and 6, are the nephews of a man who lives at the corner of Illinois and Nevada avenues, not far from the Best Buy, CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reported. When Brown came upon the victims’ car in the driveway, the uncle and his girlfriend started screaming for the children’s lives.

“The suspect then runs to the running car, attempts to open the door, is unsuccessful opening the passenger side door,” said Suffolk County Detective Lt. Kevin Beyrer. “He opens the rear door where the two young children are sitting. He climbs across the two young children into the driver’s side door. The woman panics, exits the vehicle, and she’s screaming there’s kids in the car.”

Suffolk Police photo showing path of suspect Denzel Brown from shopping center to residential area where he was fatally shot by an officer on March 22, 2015 (Credit: Mona Rivera/1010 WINS)

Suffolk Police photo showing path of suspect Denzel Brown from shopping center to residential area where he was fatally shot by an officer on March 22, 2015 (Credit: Mona Rivera/1010 WINS)

As the officer caught up with Brown, she ordered him out of the car, but Brown began to drive away, police said.

“The officer fires one shot,” Beyrer said. “The officer is then able to open the driver’s side door and then struggles inside the car in the driver’s seat with the suspect. The officer deploys a Taser again, which is ineffective. The officer then fires a second shot at the suspect.”

Suffolk Police Chief of Department James Burke said Brown did not have a weapon on him.

“I heard a shot and I didn’t look out the window. I thought it was a firecracker,” said Marletta Stevenson, who lives across the street. “There was a black car over there, and the doors were open. Police dogs everywhere.”

One neighbor’s surveillance video caught the incident, and the footage has been turned over to investigators. The man called the video graphic and upsetting.

“I told my mom lock the doors, lock everything — I was scared,” another neighbor told 1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera.

Other officers arrived and took Brown into custody. He was then transported to the hospital, where he died during surgery, authorities said.

Burke said the officer who shot Brown did everything she could to not use deadly force, WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs reported.

“This officer not once, but twice, tried to utilize the last leap of force option of the Taser,” said Burke.

“The officer placed herself in great harm to prevent the suspect from carjacking and kidnapping two young children, ages 4 and 6,” added police Commissioner Edward Webber.

But Brown’s mother, Phyllis Brown, finds the police report hard to believe.

“Somebody wanted my son dead,” she told CBS2’s Diane Macedo. “They’re saying two shots fired, they tried to Tase him. My son is very, very thin, and you mean to tell me two Tasings would not take him down?”

She also believes he wasn’t working alone.

“What is he doing all the way in Bay Shore knowing that he doesn’t have a car? Somebody brought him over there and set him up,” she said.

But Burke said the officer did the right thing after Brown tried to carjack the vehicle with children inside, Xirinachs reported.

“In this case, this officer has done just an outstanding and exemplary job,” the police chief said.

The children in the vehicle were not injured, police told Xirinachs.

The investigation is ongoing.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Homicide Squad at 631-852-6392 or call anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 800-220-TIPS.

Police say Brown had been arrested in Riverhead last January in a robbery case.

Meanwhile, some are questioning the effectiveness of police stun guns.

Just last week, Burke expressed confidence in the use of the weapons.

“We believe that the Taser’s a very effective tool,” Burke said then. “Every time there is a Taser deployed by a Suffolk County police officer, we review the circumstances thereof.”

His comments were in response to the use of a Taser two weeks ago to immobilize a suspect, who then shot and wounded a police officer.

Consistent with policy, police say the use and effectiveness of the Taser is also being reviewed.