Authorities: Ricocheted bullet meant for dog killed teen boy

Armando Garcia         
                                     CBS Los Angeles

The unnamed 3-year-old pit bull was struck by a bullet but survived.

"Our initial impression was [the deputies] didn't even see the individual coming around from the side of the building", he said during a press conference near the location where the shooting occurred in the city's Palmdale neighbourhood.

She and the boy's mother went to two different hospitals looking for him, but could not find Garcia and returned home before learning he had died. The Los Angeles County sheriff's office said its policy is that officers are allowed to shoot at dogs if they "reasonably believe" they could be seriously injured or killed by the animal. When deputies moved closer they noticed the teen on the ground, wounded after being struck in the chest from a round that skipped off the ground.

The deputy that was bitten by the dog was also struck by a ricocheting bullet.

As for the pet owner, she said that the dog was a 3-year-old blue-nosed pit bull and explained that her home is often used as a hangout by some of the neighborhood kids.

Armando Garcia-Muro was a 17-year-old boy who lived in Palmdale, Los Angeles, California. In total, six to eight rounds were fired.

Bergner said both the teen and the deputy may have been hit by a " skip" round that ricocheted off the ground. As the deputies walked up the driveway, a 60- to 65-pound pit bull "aggressively charged at the deputies and attacked one of them", biting the deputy on the knee, the sheriff's department said.

"Two deputies engaged the dog in gunfire focused on the dog itself".

The dog was also struck and taken for treatment by animal control. Bergener said on Thursday that deputies who fire a weapon while on duty are automatically put on temporary desk duty while the incident is under investigation.

The soon-to-be senior had recently transferred to R. Rex Parris High School "to get his credits up so he could graduate high school", Genevie Escobar, Armando's ex-girlfriend and one of his best friends, told BuzzFeed News.

"He would give his life for anybody".

"The dog was not aggressive", she said.

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