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14-year-old Arizona teen carrying an airsoft gun was shot and killed by a police officer

Manuela Cardiga
Jan 17, 2019
05:57 P.M.
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Tempe Police revealed a 14-year-old teen was killed by an Arizona Police officer.

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On January 15, 2019, Tempe police officers interrupted a teenager burglarizing a car.

By the end of the brief encounter, 14-year-old Antonio Gonzalez was dead, shot by one of the responding officers who mistook the airsoft gun he was carrying for a real weapon.

Source: Facebook/ Antonio Gonzalez

Source: Facebook/ Antonio Gonzalez

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"The suspect turned towards the officer at which point the officer perceived a threat and fired his service weapon at the suspect."

Tempe Police Sgt. Ron Elcock.

A DEADLY MISTAKE

According to the police, the officers responding to the report of a burglary approached Gonzalez who fled from the scene on foot carrying stolen items and what appeared to be a gun.

As he fled, Gonzales turned towards the pursuing officers who "perceived a threat and fired his service weapon, striking the suspect."

Source: Facebook/ Antonio Gonzalez

Source: Facebook/ Antonio Gonzalez

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AIRSOFT GUN: CONVINCING FAKE LEADS TO DEATH

Airsoft guns are replica air weapons used in a competitive team shooting sport in which participants shoot each other with spherical plastic projectiles. Airsoft guns are made to resemble real guns closely, and this similarity is what led to Gonzalez's death.

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THE POLICE DID NOT INFORM GONZALEZ'S FAMILY

Gonzalez's family only realized the teen was dead when they reported him missing to the Tempe Police. The teen had been expected home that afternoon, and when he failed to arrive or contact the family, they contacted the police.

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"WHO SHOT HIM?"

According to Jason Gonzalez, the deceased's brother, police officers came to the family home and told them that Gonzalez had been shot dead.

Jason asked them who had shot his brother, but the officers avoided the question:

"After about 20 minutes... they didn't really want to tell me... until one of them was like, "one of our officers shot him."'

The family has denied that Gonzalez owned any fake guns, and have demanded an explanation from the Tempe Police Department for the teen's death.

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It is believed that the teen had stolen the gun from the car he broke into. Gonzalez's shooting is being investigated by the police department and by the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office.

ANOTHER TEEN SHOT BY POLICE

Michael Jerome Taylor, 17, was shot dead by Lakeland Police after fleeing the scene of a disturbance in a stolen car.

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Police had been called to the parking lot of Salem’s Gyros and Subs at 2:21 am where about 200 people were gathered by one of the restaurant's employees.

The responding officers were attempting to disperse the crowd when Officer Raj Patel spotted a black Chevrolet Camaro that fit the description of a car reported stolen from Winter Haven.

The officers approached the vehicle, and Taylor accelerated the car and drove towards the officers and the milling people gathered in the parking lot.

Perceiving an immediate danger to themselves and others, Officer Markais Neal and two other officers fired at the vehicle, killing Taylor.

In a related story, a Black security guard stopped a gunman but was mistakenly shot by police

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