LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck called the shooting by police of a 13-year-old holding a pellet gun “a tragedy.”
An officer on Thursday night shot the teen believing he was holding a real gun that turned out to be a toy. The boy, whose name has not been released, was taken to a local hospital and is in critical but stable condition.
“The pellet gun the juvenile was using is the exact dimensions of a Beretta 92 F, and is indistinguishable from a real handgun on a dark night,” Beck said in a statement. “We have seen far too much heartbreak involving these types of realistic looking guns that are labeled as toys.”
Officers were patrolling the Glassell Park area when they saw three people who tried to flee when the officers stopped to investigate. Officer Victor Abarca told one of them to surrender but the boy instead refused to comply and took out what officers thought was a gun.
Police, who thought the boy was a young adult because of his height and weight, fired and hit the boy.
The shooting is still under investigation.
(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)