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Sheriff’s deputies in Southern California fatally shoot armed teenager with mental health issues

A 17-year-old boy with mental health issues was shot and killed by Sheriff’s deputies in Southern California after he armed himself with a knife and locked himself inside a bathroom at a home in Victorville. The teen had escaped from a hospital where he was being transferred to a mental health facility after receiving treatment for self-inflicted injuries.

The boy, a foster youth from Hesperia, had gone to a home where his sisters lived in foster care, prompting someone to call deputies to arrest him due to previous troubles. Deputies attempted to coax the teen out of the bathroom for half an hour before he threatened to harm himself. Despite their efforts, the encounter resulted in deputies breaking down the door and attempting to apprehend him, during which he was holding a knife.

One deputy was injured by the knife as they tried to subdue the teenager, who ultimately succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead at the hospital. This incident occurred less than a month after another shooting involving San Bernardino deputies and a 15-year-old boy with autism.

In response to this tragedy, Sheriff emphasized the need for better access to mental health services for troubled youth so that law enforcement does not have to be the only response during crises. He stressed the importance of having additional resources available beyond law enforcement for the community’s mental health needs.

By Samantha Jones

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