Watch CBS News

San Bernardino County Sheriff defends deputies, calls for mental health reform after fatal shooting in Apple Valley

San Bernardino County Sheriff gives update on fatal shooting of 15-year-old in Apple Valley
San Bernardino County Sheriff gives update on fatal shooting of 15-year-old in Apple Valley 02:05

San Bernardino County Sheriff Shannon Dicus held a press conference on Wednesday to address a series of rumors stemming from a fatal deputy-involved shooting that happened over the weekend. 

The incident, which took place in Apple Valley on Saturday afternoon, turned deadly when Ryan Gainer, a 15-year-old boy armed with what deputies called a five-foot long bladed garden tool, charged at them after they were called to the scene for reports that he was attacking family members. 

Body cam footage released by SBSD shows the moments that Gainer charged the deputies with the tool raised over his head, which led them to open fire and kill the teenager.

Though they released the footage within days of the incident, the deputies' actions have been called into question, with some narratives suggesting that the deputies didn't do enough to help the teenager after he was shot. 

Dicus, who called Gainer both a victim and a suspect during his press conference, defended his deputies, making time on Wednesday to talk about how many times deputies had already been called to the home since the start of 2024. 

"Since January, we've been to this residence in Apple Valley five times," Dicus said. "Out of those five times, the 15-year-old juvenile Ryan, was taken to a mental health facility both by ambulance and by law enforcement."

He went on to address the lackluster mental health care offered to those in need.

"Our social safety network is not working and needs to be strengthened. There is no reason that law enforcement should be the ones that end up having to get involved in these crises. Specifically, when we've off-ramped these individuals to social services that are supposed to be designed to take care of their mental health needs."

Additional body camera footage was released on Wednesday to show as the deputies scrambled to get medical aid equipment from their patrol cars, and the moments that one of the deputies performs CPR on Gainer. 

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.