San Diego

Torrey Pines High School Student, 15, Killed by Police Was Holding BB Gun

In the parking lot of Torrey Pines High School Saturday morning, the 15-year-old pulled a BB air gun from his waistband and pointed it at San Diego Police Department officers, refusing to drop it

A 15-year-old Torrey Pines High School (TPHS) student shot and killed by police officers Saturday in the campus' parking lot pulled out a BB gun and pointed it at the officers, refusing to drop it, before they opened fire on him.

San Diego Police Department (SDPD) Acting Homicide Capt. Mike Holden said investigators determined that the weapon the teenager pulled from his waistband during the encounter with the officers was a "semi-automatic BB air pistol."

According to the SDPD, the teen called 911 just before 3:30 a.m. Saturday asking officers to conduct a welfare check on a minor -- himself -- who was standing at the TPHS parking lot in the 3700 block of Del Mar Heights Road in Carmel Valley.

The student spoke about himself in the third person in what Holden described as a routine, "very general 'check the welfare'" call to police. 

The caller stated that the minor who needed to be checked on did not have a weapon, Holden said.

Two officers -- a 28-year veteran and a 4-year veteran of the SDPD -- headed to the parking lot and found the student standing in the front parking lot of the school.

As the officers got out of their patrol cars, the teenager pulled out the BB gun that was hidden in his waistband and pointed it at one of the officers. Investigators said both officers drew their weapons while repeatedly telling the teen to drop his weapon. Holden said the teen refused and instead, continued to point the BB gun at one officer and began walking towards the same officer.

The officers once again told the teen to drop the weapon.

Fearing for their safety, Holden said the SDPD officers fired their weapons at the teen, striking him multiple times.

The officers ran to give the teeanger first aid; he was rushed to Scripps La Jolla Hospital where he died a short time later.

The BB air pistol was recovered by police at the scene.

The student will not be identified, the SDPD said, due to his age. He lived in the neighborhood with his family.

The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information can reach out to the SDPD's Homicide Unit at (619) 531-2293 or Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.

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