A person with a replica handgun who was shot to death by police in Los Angeles and initially reported to be an adult was identified on Thursday by coroner’s officials as a 16-year-old boy.
The teenager died on Sunday in an encounter on a street in South Los Angeles with police officers sent to an emergency call about a person with a gun, police have said.
The person has since been identified as Daniel Perez, 16, Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office Lieutenant David Smith said in a phone interview. Perez died of multiple gunshot wounds, Smith said.
Media accounts, citing police officials, initially reported that the person with the replica handgun was an adult man.
The shooting of Perez came the day after the police shooting in Los Angeles of an 18-year-old black man, Carnell Snell Jr., who police said was armed with a loaded handgun.
Both shootings have generated protests in Los Angeles. They followed a number of police shootings of black men that have touched off larger demonstrations and intensified a national debate over racial bias and excessive force in U.S. law enforcement.
The replica handgun Perez had was made to look more real, because its orange tip was painted black, Los Angeles police spokeswoman Norma Eisenman said earlier this week.
Federal law requires imitation firearms to have an orange tip to distinguish them from real guns. California lawmakers in 2014, following the shooting death by police of another teenager with an imitation firearm, passed a law to require even more visible markings for replica guns.
Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck was scheduled to hold a news conference on Thursday afternoon to provide more details on Perez’s shooting death.
(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Peter Cooney)