Skateboarding teen Raul Herrera robbed a Jack-in-the-Box restaurant in Ontario, California. However, it was only the first phase in a larger, fatal plan that day.
On August 21, 2015, Raul Herrera skateboarded to a local fast-food restaurant with a weapon in his possession. Once there, Herrera allegedly robbed the establishment, as reported by Inland Valley Daily Bulletin. After robbing the eatery, he was given a paper bag containing money. Yet, instead of getting away with the funds, he began distributing them to customers inside the store.
Once the teen left the facility, witnesses claimed Raul Herrera could be seen skating down Archibald Avenue pointing his weapon at civilians. Authorities say Herrera’s weapon of choice was a.38 Revolver, as mentioned by KTLA-5.
Although he was brandishing his weapon to the public, there seemed to be a hidden agenda to the skateboarding teen’s acts of rebellion. It was almost as if he wanted something different to happen — especially since witnesses said he was actively yelling, “I have a gun, I have a gun.” It was like he wasn’t actually trying to get away.
17yo teenage skateboarder shot, killed by Ontario police identified as Raul Herrera III pic.twitter.com/zpbWjrDntv
— Julie Sone (@ABC7JulieSone) August 21, 2015
Around 3:45 p.m., officers intervened after receiving several phone calls from individuals on South Archibald Avenue. During this time, a police confrontation ensued. At some time thereafter, the teen was shot. Emergency services rushed Herrera to the hospital. After arriving, he was pronounced dead.
Press Enterprise mentions that Sergeant Jeff Higbee feels it was possibly suicide-by-cop.
“It’s a very good possibility it could be suicide-by-cop because he did leave a suicide note at his house.”
According to NBC 4 – Los Angeles, his friends and family said the gesture was completely out of character for Herrera. Raul’s father said he doesn’t know where his parenting went wrong.
“I don’t have any tears left. Single parent, I thought I raised him correctly. I don’t know where I went wrong…
I know [the officers who shot Raul] are hurting. I know their families are hurting. I’m praying for them. I want them to know, absolutely no hard feelings whatsoever.”
The officers were given the option to undergo counseling and were placed on leave. A friend of the family, Jed Kelly, also spoke to NBC 4 about the incident.
“He went out with the intention of hurting one person and one person only. Unfortunately that was himself. It’s a tough loss for everybody.”
Described as a star pupil in school — Herrera excelled in sports and academics, earning an early graduation — friends and family members do not understand why Herrera committed such acts.
Just found out I lost one of my old baseball teammates last night. RIP Raul Herrera…
— D.J. (@DJ_Strevell) August 22, 2015
What are your thoughts about the skateboarding teen? What do you think could have caused him to act so out of character? Feel free to share in the comments below.