Deputies Kill Teen With Mental Health Issues Weeks After Ryan Gainer Death

Photo: Getty Images

A 17-year-old boy with mental health issues was shot and killed by California deputies, drawing parallels to the police killing of 15-year-old Ryan Gainer, a Black boy who had autism, per The Guardian.

The San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department responded to a home in Victorville, Southern Carolina after the 17-year-old teenager locked himself inside a bathroom with a knife. The boy went to the home where his teenage sisters were being fostered after he had escaped from a mental health facility on Tuesday (April 2).

Video shows deputies shoving the teen into a bathtub and ordering him to get down and put his hands behind his back. At one point during the encounter, police shot the teen. The boy was taken to a hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

According to San Bernardino County Sheriff Shannon Dicus, deputies had tried to get the 17-year-old to come out of the locked bathroom for roughly 30 minutes. When the boy threatened to harm himself, deputies kicked down the door and attempted to apprehend him.

Police said deputies pepper-sprayed the teen, and during the struggle, one of the deputies' hands was sliced by the knife.

The death of the 17-year-old, who hasn't been identified, drew parallels to the fatal shooting of Gainer, who was killed by sheriff's deputies while he was wielding a gardening tool last month.

According to Dicus, deputies were met with violence in both cases. Dicus said more mental health services are needed in the community.

"My record as sheriff for the last several years is I have championed having a better mental health system," Dicus said. "The corrections environment and our public environment have been challenged a number of times where the only mental health resource we have in our community is law enforcement, and that´s the only 24/7 resource that we have."

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