ONTARIO (AP) — A Southern California teenager robbed a fast-food restaurant and threatened passers-by with a gun from his skateboard until he was fatally shot in a confrontation with officers, authorities said.
A suicide note was found at the 17-year-old boy’s home after the Thursday afternoon shooting, Ontario police Sgt. Jeff Higbee said Friday.
Higbee said officers responded to numerous 911 reports of a skateboarding teen pointing a gun at people and cars while repeatedly screaming, “I got a gun!”
When officers confronted him, the teen pointed his gun at them and they fired on him, Higbee said.
The teen, whose name was not released, was pronounced dead shortly afterward at a hospital.
Detectives are investigating whether the incident was a so-called suicide-by-cop, based on the suicide note and some of the teen’s actions.
For instance, just after the teen robbed the fast-food restaurant, a Jack in the Box, he handed out stolen cash to customers before leaving on his skateboard, Higbee said.
“He just did something to get police to respond down there,” Higbee said.
He said the teen was carrying a .38-caliber revolver but did not know whether the weapon was loaded.
Higbee called the teen’s death horrible and said that the officers who fired on him now have to cope with what happened.
“They had no idea how old the suspect was until after the whole thing was over,” he said.
The teen lived at home with his parents, Higbee said.