L.A sheriff deputies accidentally killed a teenager early Thursday after they shot at a dog and the bullets bounced, according to officials.
Around 3:40am, deputies opened fire at a charging pitbull, and did not see the teen in the darkness. The 17 year old was hit in the chest, despite being some feet away from the shooting. It is believed the bullets were fired, they bounced and then hit the teen.
The shooting came after one of the deputies was bitten bu the dog. the teen was trying to restrain the pitbull so that he would not bite again. This particular deputy personnel did not shoot at the dog, but was hit by a bouncing bullet in the leg.
Five deputies were present at the time, but only two fired, according to Captain Christopher Bergner of the Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau. He spoke of the shooting in a news conference after the incident occurred.
“He may have been struck by one of the skip rounds in what we’re calling an extremely, extremely unfortunate incident,” Bergner said. “Our initial impression was the deputies didn’t even see the individual coming around from the side of the building.”
The teen has been identified by family as Armando Garcia-Muro. He died at Antelope Valley Hospital from his injuries.
Under the department’s use-of-force-policy, deputies are allowed to fire at animals if they “reasonably believe” that they’re about to be killed or be seriously injured by the animal.