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Cops shoot and kill teen who was holding Airsoft gun

Cops shoot and kill teen who was holding Airsoft gun

His parents later explained 'it's a toy'

Police in the US shot and killed a teenage boy after mistaking his Airsoft rifle for a real gun.

Shocking dashcam footage released by the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) shows two of its officers responding to a 911 call on 17 September.

In the call, which was included in the release, 19-year-old Luis Herrera can be heard telling the responder that his dad had been drinking and was beating his mum.

But when the police approached the property in a south-east neighbourhood of the city, the teen came out wielding what appeared to be a huge assault rifle.

The 19-year-old came out of the house with what appeared to be an assault rifle.
Los Angeles Police Department/YouTube

Footage shows the two officers telling the suspect to put the gun down as they dart to the side of the house.

When Herrera doesn't comply, one of the cops fires his gun numerous times while shouting: "Let go of the gun."

As the suspect lays on the floor, a back and forth ensues as the teen's parents explain that it's their son and state 'it's a toy' in reference to the supposed firearm. But the officers remain in position until back-up arrives.

Luis Herrera's dad explained 'it's a toy'.
Los Angeles Police Department/YouTube

When paramedics showed up they pronounced the boy dead at the scene. Authorities later confirmed the gun was an Airsoft rifle and also that there was no evidence of domestic violence between the mother and father as was suggested to the dispatcher.

Underneath the boy's body lay an additional Airsoft pistol, with both mock weapons being taken in as evidence. It's not currently known why the 19-year-old came out with the guns or made the call.

The officers visited the house after receiving a domestic violence 911 call. Luis Herrera's parents later emerged from the house.
Los Angeles Police Department/YouTube

In a narration of the clips, shared on the LAPD's YouTube page, force spokesperson Captain Kelly Muniz said that they released the footage in order for the public to 'have a better understanding of what occurred' based on what is known right now.

"We are still at the very early stages of this investigation, which can often take up to a year to complete," she said.

For now, the officer who dealt the fatal blow to Herrera, identified as Luis Navarrete, has been placed on administrative leave until the investigation reaches a conclusion.

The Airsoft guns have been taken into evidence.
Los Angeles Police Department/YouTube

Muniz added: "We also do not draw any conclusions about whether the officers acted consistent with our policies and the law until all the facts are known and the investigation is complete."

If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677

Featured Image Credit: Los Angeles Police Department/YouTube

Topics: Police, US News, Crime, Los Angeles