April 14, 2024 2:23 pm
Sheriff’s deputies in Southern California shoot and kill armed teen struggling with mental health issues

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

The teenager, who was a foster youth residing in Hesperia, had recently been treated at a hospital for self-inflicted injuries before escaping while being transferred to a mental health facility. He later arrived at a home in Victorville where his sisters, who are also in foster care, resided. Deputies were called to the residence by someone who wanted the boy arrested due to previous disruptive behavior.

Upon encountering the deputies, the teen locked himself in a bathroom with a knife. After attempting to get him to surrender for approximately thirty minutes, the deputies decided to forcibly enter the bathroom when the boy threatened self-harm. During the confrontation, the teen was pepper-sprayed, and a deputy sustained injuries from the knife. Despite these efforts, the boy was shot and pronounced dead at a hospital.

Sheriff Shannon Dicus emphasized the need for improved access to mental health services for troubled youth and highlighted the challenges faced by law enforcement as the primary resource in such crisis situations. He expressed his commitment to advocating for a more robust mental health system in the community to address similar incidents in the future.

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