A teenager was shot and killed by police when he drew what appeared to be a handgun on officers in front of Torrey Pines High School early Saturday morning.
The shooting occurred just hours before students were to arrive on campus to take the SAT college entrance exam.
San Diego Police received a call at 3:27 a.m. asking officers to check on a 15-year-old boy who was standing in front of the school in the middle of the night. He was not believed to be armed.
Once officers arrived at the school, they found the teenager by the school’s front parking lot. While the officers were getting out of their patrol cars, the teenager pulled out what appeared to be a handgun that was hidden in his waistband and pointed it at one of the officers, police said.
Immediately, the officers drew their guns and repeatedly commanded the teenager to drop his weapon.
The 15-year-old refused to drop his gun and continued walking towards the same officer he pointed his weapon at, said police. Officers kept demanding the teen to drop his gun, but he would not.
Police say the officers feared for their safety, and fired their guns. Gunfire struck the teenager numerous times.
Paramedics were requested right away and officers quickly began rendering first aid to the teenager. The teen was taken to Scripps La Jolla Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Since the fatal officer-involved shooting, police have learned that the teenager who died was also the one who called police to report himself.
The gun was revealed to actually be a semi-automatic BB air pistol.
The two officers involved in the incident were a 28-year veteran and a four-year veteran of the San Diego Police Department. Their names will be released in a few days per SDPD protocol and they will be reassigned to desk duty pending an internal investigation.
The boy has been identified as a resident of the neighborhood, according to Holden. His family was notified, but his name was not released because he is a juvenile.
About eight hours after the shooting, the San Dieguito Union High School District issued a statement on its Facebook page addressed to families from Superintendent Eric Dill regarding a “saddening incident at Torrey Pines High School.”
“Our hearts go out to the student, his family, and his friends,” the letter said.
“The details of the situation are still unfolding, but whatever they are, this event is very traumatic for our students, staff, families and community. A crisis response team will be on the TPHS campus on Monday to support students, staff, and parents as needed,” Dill said 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. Again, if you need to talk to someone about this or just need a place to go to mourn and process this tragedy, counseling services will be available at all of our schools on Monday for anyone who feels they need it,” continued the letter.
“As a community, we have a shared responsibility to care for one another. Please rest assured that we will do everything possible to maintain our daily routine while supporting each other as we deal with this sad event.”
The incident was captured on video by body cameras the officers were wearing at the time.
— From Staff and Wire Reports
>> Subscribe to Times of San Diego’s free daily email newsletter! Click hereFollow Us: