Teen killed by bullet ricochet as deputies fire on attacking pit bull

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A 17-year-old boy was killed Thursday, apparently by a "skip round" ricocheting bullet fired during a deputy-involved shooting that happened when a pit bull attacked deputies in Palmdale, authorities said.

The shooting was reported at 3:47 a.m. in the 38500 block of 10th Street East. The boy, a Palmdale resident, died at 4:28 a.m. at a hospital, the coroner's office reported. His name was withheld pending family notification.

An aunt identified him as Armando Garcia, and said the dog belonged to a friend of his, news media outlets reported.

Deputies had responded to a report of loud music at "a single-story apartment complex with two apartments in the front, carports to the rear, and another set of two apartments to the rear of the carport," said sheriff's
Capt. Christopher Bergner.

"This is a location they responded to at least four times in the past two months for loud music and/or gang-related calls," Bergner said. "As the deputies approached the driveway ... one of the deputies was attacked by a 60- to-65-pound male adult pit bull," Bergner said. "The deputy was bit on his left knee, and at that time a male Hispanic juvenile came from behind the apartment complex where the carports are and at this time we believe he restrained the dog and took him to the rear of the complex."

He said deputies "retreated back to the street below the driveway" and requested additional units and medical treatment for the deputy that had been bit. "As they were waiting for medical treatment to arrive, the pit bull
came from the rear carport area location, and again charged deputies," Bergner said. "At that point, two deputies engaged the dog in gunfire ... (and) the dog quickly retreated, back to the rear of the complex into the carport area."

The deputies went after the dog to prevent it from harming anyone else, he said. "As they walked to the rear of the carport area, to the very rear of the first set of apartment complexes, they found the victim on the ground, and
(he) had sustained a wound to his upper torso," Bergner said. "It appears that ... within (the) first six to eight feet of where the shooting occurred with the dog, there are skip rounds in the apron of the driveway," he said. "We believe that when the (teen) came out from behind the building, which was approximately 40 feet away from where the shooting occurred, he may have been struck by one of these skip rounds ... an extremely,
extremely unfortunate incident."

The deputy who was bitten on the left knee by the dog also suffered a wound from a stray bullet to his right knee, Bergner said.

The dog was placed in the custody of animal control personnel and will be euthanized.

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