Los Angeles sheriff’s deputies responding to a dog attack in Palmdale Thursday accidentally killed a 17-year-old boy who was trying to restrain a pit bull dog.
The officers were trying to shoot the dog, and the bullets reportedly ricocheted off the driveway and hit the teen, who they did not see in the darkness.
The LA Times reported that the deputies were responding to a call at 3:40 a.m. Thursday morning about a loud party at the apartment complex. When they arrived, a pit bull charged toward them, biting one of the officers in the knee.
Armando Garcia-Muro, 17, had reportedly restrained the dog and taken it around the corner, while the law officers retreated and called for backup and medical units.
As the wounded deputy was being treated, the pit bull broke free and charged at the officers once more, causing them to open fire on the dog. They struck the dog, but did not kill it, and it ran back to the rear of the complex. Then officers noticed the boy lying on the ground wounded.
Garcia-Muro was taken to the hospital, but he could not be saved.
The deputy bitten by the dog was also hit with one of the stray bullets. The dog is to be euthanized, officials reported.
Los Angeles Sheriff Captain Christopher Bergner said at a press conference, “Our initial impression was the deputies didn’t even see the individual coming around from the side of the building.” He said the boy’s death was “an extremely, extremely unfortunate incident.”
In a separate incident reported Thursday, two children in Lancaster, Pennsylvania were mauled by a pit bull dog as it charged into a parked minivan and attacked the children as they sat in their carseats.
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