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Highland teen shot by deputy following family dispute

A teenage boy underwent surgery Sunday after he was shot by a deputy following a family dispute in Highland.
January 19, 2014 12:00:00 AM PST
A teenage boy underwent surgery Sunday after he was shot by a deputy following a family dispute in Highland.

Deputies responded to the 7400 block of Rogers Lane around 10:30 p.m. Saturday. Investigators say 16-year-old Joshua Alvarez grabbed a pair of scissors or possibly a knife and began threatening family members.

Family members say Alvarez was fighting with his older brother.

"They were just arguing, you know, just fighting, and my nephew, I believe, he obviously got upset, and wanted to hit him," said Alvarez' aunt, Franceen Salcido.

When deputies arrived, the teen was outside. As they pulled up next to him, he allegedly approached deputies with a hammer and a sharp object, the sheriff's department said. The teen then attempted to attack one of the deputies, the sheriff's department said.

Alvarez was shot and rushed to a nearby hospital. He remains hospitalized in critical condition.

"The bullet his his liver, which cut half of it off, and shattered his kidney," said Salcido.

No deputies were injured.

According to neighbor Ronnie Gutierrez, who saw the incident unfold, he did not see the teen make any aggressive move toward deputies.

"The police came up, they told him, 'Drop the hammer, drop the hammer, drop the hammer' a few times, and he didn't want to. I didn't see him make any aggressive move toward the police, and the police just ended up shooting him," said Gutierrez.

Family members say they wish deputies would have taken a different approach.

On Sunday, the victim's friends and relatives held a vigil and march for the 16-year-old. A group called the Inland Empire Rapid Response Network plans to hold a news conference Monday to demand an independent investigation of the shooting and a change in policies on the use of lethal force by police.

The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to contact detectives at (909) 387-3589.


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