A member of the San Diego Police Department investigates the scene of a fatal police officer involved shooting of a 15-year-old boy in one of the parking lots in front of Torrey Pines High School, early Saturday morning. Photo Credit: San Diego Union Tribune
Two San Diego police officers shot and killed a 15-year-old who is accused of pointing a BB gun at them. Police said that the shooting took place in front of Torrey Pines High School early Saturday morning.
The teen was a freshman at the Carmel Valley school and lived in the neighborhood, yet authorities are not releasing his name because he was a juvenile. Police also claim that the person who called them to report the boy, was the teenager himself. Around 3:27 am, a call came in which asked for a welfare check. According to police homicide Lt. Mike Holden, the caller said there was a kid in front of the school who someone should probably check on and stated the person was not armed. This is the caller who police assume is the now deceased 15-year-old.
The two officers arrived at the school on Del Mar Heights Road about the same time and saw the teen. As they got out of their patrol cars to speak with him, he “pulled a handgun that was concealed in his waistband and pointed it at one of the officers,” Holden said. Both officers drew their weapons and told the boy to drop the gun, but he continued to point the gun and walk toward the one officer, Holden said. The teen ignored additional commands, and the officers, fearing for their safety, both fired, the lieutenant said. The teen was struck several times.
Officers said that they immediately began life-saving measures, and took the boy to Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla for medical attention. The teenager died while at the hospital of injuries sustained by the gunshot wounds.
The boy’s gun remained at the scene to be processed as evidence. Police later determined that the gun was a “semi-automatic BB air pistol,” Holden said. Holden also claims that both police officers activated their body cameras at some point, so the incident can be reviewed, but according to CNN, it is still unclear whether or not the footage will be released.
A semi-automatic BB gun air pistol. (This is NOT the gun found at the scene of this shooting. It is a typical looking BB gun pistol.)
The boy was described as a white male, 15-years-old, of medium build, wearing a gray shirt and black pants.
“The details of the situation are still unfolding, but whatever they are, this event is very traumatic for our students, staff, families, and community,” Eric Dill, superintendent for the San Dieguito Union High School District, said in a letter posted on the district’s website. The teen’s name was not released in the letter. “I know this is difficult, but we ask that you please refrain from conjecture or spreading rumors. This is a difficult time for the family and we need to let them mourn.” – San Diego Union Tribune
Neither officer was injured in this incident and the family of the boy doesn’t know of any note or reason as to why he would have had a BB gun around a school or why he chose to incite an altercation with police. In California, the fact that he had a BB gun near a school was cause for alarm, as the state is almost completely anti-gun. Without body camera footage, we have only the words of the police to go on right now. Could less fatal measures have been taken? It’s definitely possible that the police thought their lives were in danger, as some BB gun pistols look very real, especially at a distance. It’s hard to participate in “what-ifs” with only the witness accounts being from those who committed the fatal shooting.
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Contributed by Dawn Luger of The Daily Sheeple.