SAN DIEGO – Two police officers shot a 15-year-old Torrey Pines High School student to death early Saturday after he pointed an air pistol at them, officials said.
Police received a 911 call at 3:27 a.m. requesting officers to check on a 15-year-old boy standing in front of Torrey Pines High School, homicide Lt. Mike Holden said. The caller said the boy had no weapons, but when patrol officers arrived and located the teenager, he pulled what appeared to be a handgun from his waistband and pointed it at them, Holden said.
Both officers drew their weapons and ordered the boy to drop his gun. Instead, the boy continued to point the gun at the officers and began walking toward them. Both officers shot the boy multiple times, and he was pronounced dead a short time later at Scripps La Jolla Hospital, Holden said.
School officials said the boy was a student at the school.
"I am saddened to report that the 15-year-old boy who was killed was a student at our school. Law enforcement has not released the name of the young man, but our hearts go out to the student, his family, and his friends," San Dieguito Unified High School District Superintendent Eric Dill wrote in an email to district families.
"The details of the situation are still unfolding, but whatever they are, this event is very traumatic for our students, staff, families, and community. A crisis response team will be on the TPHS campus on Monday to support students, staff, and parents as needed," Dill wrote.
“Honestly, I’m just in shock and I think that the rest of the Torrey Pines community feels the same way,” said Torrey Pines High Senior Amanda Chen.
17-year-old Torrey Pines High senior and editor of the school paper Amanda Chen was in shock when she arrived to find her high school campus surrounded by yellow crime scene tape. She says she heard news that a fellow student may have taken his life by prompting police to shoot him.
“I don’t know what the student was going through, it could be a combination of a lot of different types of pressures but the school is definitely cliquey so I’m not surprised,” said Chen.
Investigators determined that the gun used by the teen was a semi-automatic BB air pistol. They said that the 911 caller appears to have been the teenager himself. When the dispatcher asked the caller's name, he gave it, and it is the name of the teenager shot by police.
Police verified that the boy was a student at Torrey Pines High School and he lived near the school.
“I’m compelled to help a child before it gets to this point,” said Parent of Torrey Pines High School Student, Tracy Francisco Dominici.
A mother concerned about the emotional well being of her son who attends the high school stood in front of the crime scene tape and held up a sign offering to listen to any student in emotional distress.
“Something caused this child to feel so much pain whether it was at school or at home, or extended family or out in the neighborhood with his friends. Who know where it was coming from. It’s important that he had someone to talk to and obviously just from speculation it feels like he didn’t have any one to talk to,” said Francisco Dominici.
One of the officers who shot the student has been the San Diego Police Department for 28 years. The other has been with the department for 4 years.