Tragic Shooting of 17-Year-Old Boy with Mental Health Issues in Southern California Sparks Calls for Improved Mental Health Services.

Sheriff’s Deputies in Southern California fatally shoot armed teenager with mental health issues

In Southern California, sheriff’s deputies were forced to shoot and kill a 17-year-old boy with mental health issues. The teen, who was a foster youth living in Hesperia, had been transferred from a hospital to a mental health facility but escaped before reaching his destination. He later showed up at a home in Victorville where his sisters lived in foster care, prompting someone at the home to call deputies to come arrest him due to past troubling behavior.

Upon arrival, deputies attempted to get the teen to come out of the bathroom for about half an hour. When he threatened to harm himself, deputies forced their way in and tried to apprehend him. Despite being pepper-sprayed and injuring a deputy’s hand with the knife he was holding, the teen was ultimately shot and killed while backed into a bathtub. He was pronounced dead at a hospital following the incident.

This tragic incident occurred shortly after another shooting involving San Bernardino deputies, where 15-year-old Ryan Gainer was killed after making threats and chasing a deputy with a garden hoe. Sheriff Shannon Dicus emphasized the need for better access to mental health services for troubled children, so that law enforcement doesn’t have to be the only option during times of crisis. Dicus has been a proponent of improving the mental health system to ensure that law enforcement isn’t solely relied upon for addressing mental health issues in the community.

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