LOS ANGELES (AP) — A 16-year-old boy shot dead last weekend as he pointed a fake gun at police wanted to kill himself, Police Chief Charlie Beck said Thursday.
Before an officer shot him Sunday, Daniel Enrique Perez used his cellphone to call 911 to report “a man with a gun matching his own description” in South Los Angeles, Beck told reporters.
Twenty minutes later, officers found a man matching the description and approached him but Perez turned and pointed a gun at them and was shot, police have said.
The gun turned out to be a replica with an orange tip that had been painted black.
The teen left a farewell note to his family, Beck said, and had a “prior history” reported by relatives.
Beck declined to disclose details of that history, saying they would hurt the boy’s family.
“I cannot even imagine how they are suffering right now,” he said.
Based on the 911 call, the note and the boy’s history, “we believe that this officer-involved shooting was a result of his desire to end his own life,” Beck said.
The officer who shot the boy is devastated, Beck said.
The teen’s killing was one of two deadly LAPD shootings last weekend.
On Saturday, police shot and killed Carnell Snell Jr., 18, in South Los Angeles. Officers said he fled when they stopped a suspected stolen car and had a gun.
That killing prompted angry protests. Beck took the unusual step of publicly disclosing video showing Snell holding the gun.