HIGHLAND, Calif. - A 16-year-old California boy was hospitalized in serious condition after being shot at least twice by a deputy in San Bernardino County after police say he allegedly threatened his family and authorities with a hammer and a sharp object, reports CBS Los Angeles.
Authorities say the teen’s family called 911 Saturday night to report that the teen was acting “erratic” and that they required assistance at their Highland home, reports the station.
“They were worried because he had a sharp object and he was threatening them,” said Sgt. Travis Newport with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.
When deputies arrived on scene around 11 p.m., they reportedly located the suspect walking away from the family’s residence and tried to stop him.
“The subject turned around and produced a hammer and a sharp object and attempted to attack one of the deputy sheriffs,” said Sgt. Newport.
The teen was reportedly shot at least twice by authorities.
The teen’s family claims there was no reason for shots to be fired and that there was no attempted attack on authorities, reports CBS Los Angeles.
“They asked two to three times for him to put the hammer down and then they shot him. My nephew did not attack,” the teen’s aunt, Francine Salcido, told the station.
“It is horrible. He is only 16. They could have used other force. They couldn’t use a Taser?” said Salcido.
She acknowledged that the family called 911.
“We are crying for help,” she said, “not for [the deputies] to come and make it worse. He fights with his brother, like all kids do. He’s a teenager. They argue a lot. He’s a sweet kid.”
Salcido said her nephew was shot twice. Doctors reportedly removed one of his kidneys and half his liver.
“He’s fighting for his life,” said Salcido.
The teen’s family and friends held a vigil for him on Sunday night.
The brother with whom the teen was fighting the night of the incident reportedly addressed the crowd, saying he wished he hadn’t fought with his brother.
“I wish I just talked it out with him… He’s a good kid. He wouldn’t fight nobody,” the teen’s brother said.
No deputies were injured in the incident, according to the station. The investigation into what led up to the shooting remains under investigation.