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Police shoot 13-year-old boy with autism after mother calls for help

A 13-year-old boy with autism is recovering after being shot by police in Glendale, Utah on Friday night, CBS affiliate KUTV reports. The boy, Linden Cameron, is still in the hospital after suffering injuries to his shoulder, both ankles, intestine, and bladder, his mother told KUTV in an interview Sunday.

Golda Barton said she called police and asked for a crisis intervention team because her son was having a mental breakdown. 

The mother said she told officers that her son, who has Asperger's, needed to be transported to the hospital for treatment. "This is how to deal with people with mental health issues. So, you call them, and they're supposed to come out and be able to deescalate a situation using the most minimal force possible," Barton told KUTV.

"I said, 'He's unarmed, he doesn't have anything, he just gets mad and he starts yelling and screaming. He's a kid, he's trying to get attention, he doesn't know how to regulate,'" Barton said.

Less than five minutes after the officers arrived, Barton, who waited outside, heard "get down on the ground" and several gunshots were heard, she told KUTV. Barton said she thought her son was dead. The officers didn't immediately say if he was dead or not, she said. 

Her son was then handcuffed, Barton told KUTV.

The Salt Lake City Police Department is investigating the shooting, according to Barton. She told KUTV the incident occurred on the first day she had returned to work in a year. She can't be away from her son because he has bad separation anxiety. 

In a statement to KUTV, SLCPD Sergeant Keith Horrocks said police were called to the area for a report of a "violent psych issue" involving a juvenile "having a mental episode" and "making threats to some folks with a weapon." Horrocks said the shooting happened shortly after 10 p.m. and left the boy in serious condition. 

Horrocks said he knew of no indication that there was a weapon found but didn't know for sure. 

In statement to KUTV, Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall said: "While the full details of this incident are yet to be released as an investigation takes place, I will say that I am thankful this young boy is alive and no one else was injured. No matter the circumstances, what happened on Friday night is a tragedy and I expect this investigation to be handled swiftly and transparently for the sake of everyone involved."

In the KUTV interview, Barton said her son is "a small child." 

"Why didn't you just tackle him? He's a baby. He has mental issues," she said.

CBS News has reached out to SLCPD and Mayor Mendenhall for more information and is awaiting response. 

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