A Pennsylvania teenager who was in the middle of a mental health crisis had his hands in the air when state police fatally shot him last December, according to new videos released Thursday.

Christian Hall, a 19-year-old Chinese American who had been diagnosed with depression, was standing over the ledge of a highway overpass near Stroudsburg, Pa., when troopers with the Pennsylvania State Police tried to persuade him to come off the ledge. Troopers then backed away when they saw Hall had what appeared to be a firearm, which was later determined to be a realistic pellet gun.

Videos obtained by Spotlight PA and NBC News, the first to report on the footage, show that Hall had his hands in the air for 14 seconds Dec. 30, 2020. The videos, which were also obtained by The Washington Post, show that Hall’s hands remained up, with one of them holding the pellet gun, when two state troopers began firing at him, causing the teen to crumple to the ground almost immediately.

Footage previously released by the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office blurred the final seconds before Hall was killed. Monroe County District Attorney E. David Christine Jr. ruled that the fatal shooting of Hall was justified and that no one would be charged, saying the lives of the troopers were in danger. Michael Mancuso, an assistant district attorney, described Hall’s death at a March news conference as a “classic suicide-by-cop scenario.”

Now, Hall’s parents and their attorneys are calling on the Justice Department and the Pennsylvania attorney general to launch an “unbiased” investigation into a police shooting that has shattered the family and the northeastern-Pennsylvania community.

Devon M. Jacob, an attorney who has joined civil rights lawyer Ben Crump in representing Hall’s family, told The Post that the unredacted police footage, which were recently released following a subpoena, “definitively establishes that Christian was shot in direct response to an order that ‘If he doesn’t drop it, take him.’”

“The unredacted video establishes that when the fatal shots were fired, Christian was standing still, with his hands in the air, with what was believed to be a gun in his left hand and pointed at the sky, in the universal stance of surrender,” said Jacob, “and that, is an unlawful homicide.”

Gareth Hall, Christian’s father, added to Spotlight PA, “I personally would like to see those police officers brought up on charges.”

A spokesman with the Pennsylvania State Police said the agency cannot comment on pending litigation. In a statement to Spotlight PA, a spokesman with the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office said it stood by its findings that the fatal shooting was justified.

Officials with the state attorney general’s office said in a statement to The Post that under Pennsylvania law, the office does not have jurisdiction to investigate any matter unless a referral is sent by a district attorney.

“The death of 19-year-old Christian Hall is a tragedy,” the statement said. “Our hearts go out to of the people in Monroe County, and Hall’s loved ones in Stroudsburg.”

Hall is one of more than 1,500 examples in recent years in which people with mental illness have been fatally shot by police in the United States. Since 2015, nearly 1 in 4 people fatally shot by police had a mental illness, according to data tracked by The Post.

Encounters with mentally ill people can be especially challenging for police because the behavior of those people is often frantic and unpredictable. It can be impossible for mentally ill people to follow regular police commands, and the encounters can be dangerous, Post data shows, in many cases due to the mentally ill person being armed with a gun or knife.

While some police departments in larger metropolitan areas have made progress and quickly embraced training in de-escalation skills, the confrontations between police and mentally ill people remain a vexing and deadly issue for law enforcement agencies in small and midsize metropolitan areas. Such shootings are 39 percent more likely in small and medium-size areas than in large metropolitan areas or rural areas, The Post reported.

Hall was adopted as a baby from China in 2002 by Gareth Hall, who is Black and Latino, and Fe Hall, who is Filipino. Christian Hall was later diagnosed with reactive attachment disorder, a serious condition that can sometimes make it difficult for adopted children to connect with and love their parents and interact with people.

He often ran away from his Pennsylvania home and accidentally started a fire at his family’s home when he was 10, his parents told Spotlight PA. After spending four years in juvenile detention for the fire, which had no injuries, Hall continued to run away, thus violating his probation and causing him to cycle in and out of juvenile incarceration.

At about 1:30 p.m. on Dec. 30, 2020, Hall called 911 about a “possible suicider.” Moments before the call, Hall, who was supposed to be working at a grocery store at the time, had posted a picture to Snapchat of the overpass above Interstate 80 with text that read, “who would miss me,” according to a report from the district attorney’s office.

When troopers arrived, they talked to Hall for about 90 minutes. As police saw what they believed to be a real gun, they backed away from Hall and persuaded him to drop it and walk toward them, according to video. One point in the encounter shows Hall dropping the pellet gun so that he could smoke marijuana.

“Come on, man. I don’t think you want to stand out here all night, right?” a trooper told him, according to video. “Put it down for me and walk up here. That’s all you’ve got to do.”

He eventually shuffled toward troopers with the pellet gun in one hand and his arms at his sides. Hall raises his hands after a corporal fired initial shots, which missed him, video shows. His hands are above his head, with one of them still clutching the pellet gun.

The teen’s possession of what law enforcement believed to be a real gun concerned troopers at the scene.

“If he doesn’t drop it, just take him,” an official said, according to video.

Seconds later, Hall, who still had his hands in the air, is shot by the corporal and another trooper who fired their weapons several additional times, video shows. Hall clutched his stomach and fell to the ground.

Pennsylvania State Police initially noted that Hall pointed the gun at troopers before shots were fired. The newly released video does not appear to show Hall pointing the pellet gun directly at troopers before he was fatally shot. One of the troopers reported that he watched Hall “bless himself, point to his head and then pull the gun from his waistband and point it in the direction of the Troopers,” according to state police.

While the probe from the district attorney’s office made no mention of Hall pointing his gun at the troopers, investigators said that Hall “raises the gun outward toward his side and then upwards by bending his elbow at a ninety degree angle” after the initial shots were fired by the corporal.

In the spring, Mancuso described Hall as an imminent threat once he had possession of what state police believed to be a gun.

“Frankly, it’s a testament to the troopers that they didn’t shoot sooner,” Mancuso said at the March news conference.

Jacob and Crump, who are also the lawyers for George Floyd’s family, wrote formal complaints to the FBI, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland and Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro (D) last month, calling on them to investigate the shooting and the response by Pennsylvania State Police and the district attorney’s office.

In the letters, Jacob and Crump accuse the district attorney’s office of falsely implying that Hall threatened troopers with the gun. They wrote that the district attorney’s narrative and the redacted video originally released lead “the viewer to believe that in the redacted portion of the video, Christian pointed the weapon at troopers and advanced on troopers; thereby justifying the use of deadly force.”

Jacob told The Post that the accounts from state police and the district attorney are proved wrong in the newly released video.

“The unredacted video … definitively establishes that both stories are false,” Jacob said.

Read more: