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San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Deputies Shoot and Kill Teenager In Midst of Mental Health Crisis, California Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action Respond 

April 4, 2024

Last Month, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department Deputies Shot and Killed a 15-year-old Black Autistic Boy After Family Called Law Enforcement Seeking Help During a Moment of Distress

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — The California chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots network, issued the following statements after San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department deputies shot and killed a teenager during a house call. According to reports, the 17-year-old locked himself in a bathroom and threatened to hurt himself when law enforcement agents kicked the door down, threatened to arrest him and fatally shot the teen after a confrontation. 

 “A moment of crisis is not a crime,” said Veronica Perez, a San Bernardino County volunteer with the California chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Our community is in dire need of answers and accountability within our law enforcement is vital. We urge the Sheriff’s department to continue to cooperate and provide more information on next steps to ensure a tragedy like this does not happen again.”  

“This teenager was in crisis and needed support and safety. That should not have been a death sentence,” said Emily Sosa-Hernandez, a volunteer leader with the Students Demand Action chapter at the University of California, Irvine. “It’s the second time in a month that a young person was shot and killed by law enforcement in San Bernardino. Last month they shot and killed Ryan Gainer, an autistic Black boy. Guns are the number one cause of death for our generation and its law enforcement’s responsibility to do everything in their power to help keep our communities safe. Both of these young men should still be alive today. We expect answers and accountability so that we can do everything possible to make sure this never happens again.” 

Last month, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department deputies shot and killed 15-year-old Ryan Gainer, a Black autistic boy, after his family called law enforcement seeking help during a moment of distress. This new incident comes off the heels of a new video that revealed how San Bernardino Police shot and killed an unarmed teenager in 2022 during a confrontation with her father. 

In an average year, 3,253 people die and 7,293 are wounded by guns in California. California ranks 45th in both gun death rates and societal cost of gun violence at $1,060 per person each year. Gun deaths and injuries cost California $41.9 billion, of which $1.1 billion is paid by taxpayers. More information about gun violence in California is available here.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call or text 988, or visit to chat with a counselor from the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, previously known as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline provides 24/7, free, and confidential support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress anywhere in the U.S.

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