Officer Shoots, Kills Boy, 14, Who Had Airsoft Gun, Not Real One

Thursday, January 17th 2019, 3:13 pm
By: News 9

The Tempe Police Department said Wednesday a "man" who was shot by an officer and later died at a hospital was a 14-year-old boy, reports CBS Phoenix affiliate KPHO-TV. 

Police also said he had a replica 1911 model airsoft gun, not a real handgun.

Police said the officer was chasing the teen Tuesday afternoon and at one point, the teen turned around, the officer felt threatened and fired his gun.

"This is unfortunately a situation that the officer is going to have to live with forever. They're going to carry some issues with them now that they know it wasn't an actual firearm. However, they're doing exactly what they're supposed to do by policy and procedure in their training with the police department," said Kevin Boontjer, a retired police sergeant. 

The teen was later found in an alley and taken to the hospital.

Police said it all started when they received a call about a suspicious vehicle just after 2:30 p.m. and the officer who arrived found the teen burglarizing the vehicle.

The teen then got out of the vehicle and ran off with the airsoft gun and other items.

During the chase, the officer perceived a threat and shot the teen.