On April 3, 2024, a 17-year-old boy with mental health problems was shot and killed by sheriff’s deputies in Victorville, California. The incident involved a foster youth who had been recently treated in hospital for self-harm before running away while being transferred to a mental health facility.

The teenager arrived at his sisters’ home in Victorville, where they are also in foster care. Deputies were called to the residence by someone who wanted the boy arrested for previous disruptive behavior. After encountering the teenager, he locked himself in the bathroom with a knife and threatened to harm himself.

Despite efforts to subdue him with pepper spray, the teenager was shot and pronounced dead at the hospital. This incident came shortly after another fatal shooting involving San Bernardino deputies and a 15-year-old boy with autism. In both cases, deputies claimed that they encountered violent behavior from the individuals involved.

Sheriff Shannon Dicus emphasized the need for better access to mental health services for troubled youth and highlighted the challenges law enforcement faces as a primary resource in such crisis situations. He expressed his commitment to advocating for a stronger community mental health system to deal with similar incidents in the future.

By Samantha Johnson

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