Police officers in Los Angeles shot and killed a 17-year-old teen boy while firing at an enraged Pit Bull. The dog had allegedly attacked an officer, biting him on his leg.
The high school senior, Armando Garcia-Muro, was attempting to protect the dog when a bullet ricocheted off the pavement and penetrated the boy’s chest.
As reported by ABC News, Garcia-Muro’s aunt said that the teen gave his own life to protect the dog.
“My nephew was trying to save the dog because the cops started shooting at the dog. He put his life on the line for an animal that wasn’t even his.”
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department confirmed that Garcia-Muro was killed at roughly 3:45 a.m. when officers were responding to a noise complaint in Palmdale, California. While approaching the house where loud music was being played, a Pit Bull “aggressively charged at the deputies” and bit one of them on the knee.
Armando Garcia-Muro reportedly managed to restrain the dog and was returning the animal to its home when it escaped and again charged at the police. After firing at the pit bull, it retreated to the back of the home.
Two deputies followed the dog planning to lock it up to prevent further attacks. That is when the police officers discovered Garcia-Muro lying on the ground with a gunshot wound to his chest. The teen was immediately rushed to a hospital where he later succumbed to his injury.
Captain Christopher Bergner of the sheriff’s office confirmed that “the juvenile may have been struck by one of the skip rounds.” A skip round is a common term for a bullet that has ricocheted and struck another object.
A bullet fragment was found in the leg of the officer that had been bitten by the pit bull, also resulting from a skip round following the gunfire.
According to the sheriff’s department, an investigation into the incident was still ongoing and due to the fact that a civilian had perished in the incident, an independent investigation would also be conducted. The office of the Los Angeles Inspector General will provide oversight during the investigation and the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office will also be involved in the case.
The teen’s mother, Roberta Alcantar, told The Los Angeles Times that her son was an animal lover who was intending to pursue a career in construction.
“He would give his life for anybody. He was a very loving person.”
The dog is said to have been between 60 and 65 pounds in size and was due to be euthanized.
As far as animals are concerned, the Palmdale sheriff’s department policy stipulates that “personnel may use firearms to employ deadly force when dealing with animals when they reasonably believe that death or serious physical injury is about to be inflicted upon themselves or others.”
[Featured Image by Fiona Goodall/Getty Images]