Sheriff deputies in Southern California shoot and kill armed teenager struggling with mental health issues

Sheriff’s Deputies Shoot and Kill 17-Year-Old Boy with Mental Health Issues in Victorville Incident

On April 3, 2024, authorities in Southern California reported that a 17-year-old boy with mental health issues was shot and killed by sheriff’s deputies after he armed himself with a knife and barricaded himself inside a bathroom at a home in Victorville. The incident occurred on April 3, 2024.

According to San Bernardino County Sheriff Shannon Dicus, the teen had been undergoing treatment at a hospital after cutting himself and was being transferred to a mental health facility at the time of the incident. He managed to escape and made his way to a house in Victorville where his sisters reside, prompting a call to authorities to have him arrested. The boy had caused trouble previously at the residence.

Upon deputies’ arrival, the teen locked himself inside a bathroom and refused to come out for about 30 minutes. When he threatened to harm himself, deputies forcibly entered the bathroom and attempted to apprehend him. The teen was holding a knife during the encounter and ended up being shot by the deputies, ultimately leading to his death.

In a separate incident less than a month prior, another teenager, 15-year-old Ryan Gainer, was shot and killed by San Bernardino deputies after he allegedly threatened family members and chased a deputy with a garden hoe. Sheriff Dicus mentioned that both incidents involved violent encounters and called for better access to mental health services for troubled youth. He emphasized the need for options other than law enforcement in handling mental health crises.

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