Armed 13-year-old shot by police after opening fire at San Bernardino cemetery, authorities say

Sid Garcia Image
Saturday, August 7, 2021
San Bernardino police shoot armed 13-year-old at cemetery: Authorities
EMBED <>More Videos

Officers responded after the suspect called police and allegedly said he had killed three people -- a claim that turned out to be unfounded.

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (KABC) -- San Bernardino police on Thursday shot and wounded an armed 13-year-old boy after he opened fire at a cemetery and later pointed a gun at officers, authorities said.

According to a statement from the San Bernardino Police Department, the teenager called the agency's dispatch center shortly before 2 p.m. and "reported that he had just killed three people."

The suspect was calling from Pioneer Memorial Cemetery, located at 211 East Ninth Street. During the call, he told the dispatcher: "'If they don't kill me, I'll have to kill them,' referring to the officers responding to the scene," the news release said.

The dispatcher allegedly heard the 13-year-old fire multiple shots from a gun, jeopardizing the safety of several innocent bystanders who were nearby at the time, police said.

Officers arrived at the scene to find the teen armed with a handgun that was loaded with an extended magazine, the statement said. They took up positions around the cemetery's perimeter and were preparing to speak with the suspect and negotiate his surrender when he fired an additional shot, according to authorities.

"Despite the suspect's provocation, the officers maintained containment for an extended period of time and continued their efforts to end the incident peacefully by establishing dialogue," the news release said.

The 13-year-old allegedly ignored multiple commands to drop the firearm. Police opened fire after he pointed the gun at the officers, the statement said.

Sheriff Villanueva expresses 'grave concerns' over deadly shooting by deputies caught on bodycam

Sheriff Alex Villanueva expressed "grave concerns'' about the shooting by deputies of a knife-wielding 34-year-old man in East Los Angeles.

The suspect was struck by the gunfire and transported to a hospital, according to authorities. His condition was not disclosed. No bystanders or officers were injured in the confrontation.

Investigators determined that the teenager's claim to have killed three people was unfounded.

Detectives recovered two handguns, four additional gun magazines and a "large cache of ammunition" in the suspect's possession, "indicating he was prepared for a prolonged confrontation," the statement said.

Multiple photos were included with the news release; police said they showed the confiscated firearms as well as the suspect holding a gun during the standoff.

The motive for the incident was unknown.