Ryan Gainer: California Teen Shot Dead by Police Had Autism – Report

An attorney representing the family of a 15-year-old who was tragically shot by a San Bernardino County sheriff’s officer following an altercation at his house, revealed the boy had autism. According to KABC, Ryan Gainer, a teen, was shot and died after approaching a deputy with a sharp gardening tool.

Deputies rushed to Gainer’s Apple Valley house on Saturday following a 911 call from his family. His family reported to authorities that he was abusing his sister and caused property damage in their home.

The tragic event was caught on body camera footage. In the footage, Gainer is seen carrying the gardening tool and approaching a deputy who is heard yelling, “Hey, get back!” “Get back or you’ll get shot.”Before the shooting, the deputy is seen running away from the teen with his gun aimed at him.

According to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, Gainer faced the first deputy at the property with a sharp-bladed garden tool, measuring around five feet in length.

“Without provocation, Gainer raised the bladed end of the tool and ran toward the deputy,” according to the press release. “The deputy retreated and Gainer chased the deputy in an attempt to assault him with the bladed end of the tool.”

According to the statement, a “lethal force encounter” occurred, during which Gainer was shot. Following the incident, authorities reported that deputies provided medical help to Gainer until paramedics arrived.

Gainer died as a result of his injuries shortly after being taken to the hospital. Gainer’s family’s attorney informed KABC that the deceased kid was autistic and explained the basis of the family quarrel.

“Ryan is a 15-year-old with autism, and sometimes in order to release stress or if he’s a little too worked up, he’ll go on a run,” DeWitt Lacy, the family’s attorney, said. “When he came back there was a dispute that arose because he wanted to play video games, and he needed to do his chores, and he started acting out.”

The 911 tape has been leaked, but it’s unknown if Gainer’s family informed authorities about his medical condition. According to a neighbor who talked with the news source, the deceased adolescent was “struggling with a few things but was basically a good kid.”

Another neighbor viewed the video and questioned the deputy’s behavior. “When an officer is attacked with any kind of weapon, especially under that circumstance, seeing that video, I don’t know how much of a choice he had not to do what he did,” said the next-door neighbor.

The SBSD Specialized Investigations Division has subsequently initiated an investigation into the shooting incident.

“Our social safety net for those experiencing mental illness needs to be strengthened. Our deputies handle seemingly insurmountable calls daily. Most of these calls do not end in violence,” San Bernardino County Sheriff Shannon Dicus said in a statement.

“However, this one ended in tragedy for Ryan, his family, and for the deputies who responded. Rapidly evolving, violent encounters are some of the most difficult, requiring split second decisions.”

Dicus added: “While these decisions are lawful, they are awful in terms of our humanity. I feel for both Ryan’s family and my deputies who will struggle with this for their entire lives.”


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