Officials with the Los Angeles Police Department say an officer shot a 15-year-old boy in the back after spotting him in an alley next to a friend playing with a toy gun.
Around 7:45 a.m. Tuesday, two Los Angeles police officers were driving in the 7200 block of 10th Avenue when they saw a group of teenagers in an alley presumable on their way to school.
Police say one of the teenagers was pointing what officers thought was a gun at another child.
Police officials say officers ordered the boy to drop the weapon but opened fired after he did not immediately comply.
The teen holding the fake firearm was unharmed, but the 15-year-old boy standing next to him was struck, police say.
After the shooting the officers detained everyone present and concluded the group of teens were friends.
The injured boy was transported to a local hospital and was released after treatment.
“No animus was involved,” Commander Andrew Smith said. “[But] it’s certainly an unfortunate situation because of people bringing replica weapons out like that. It could have been a terrible tragedy.”
If what Commander Smith meant to say was, “Even though the teens were doing nothing wrong and the officer shot one anyway because he was unable to properly assess the situation – it could have been much worse because who cares it looked like a gun!” then he choose his words poorly.
That is certainly the implication of his words however.
Police made no arrests during the incident but Smith says the teenager holding the fake weapon could possible face charges for ‘brandishing a replica weapon in the presence of a police officer.’
The unidentified officers involved have been placed on leave pending internal department review.