Santa Cruz deputies fatally shoot violent teen allegedly armed with club, rifle

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (KGO) -- A teenager has died after an officer shot him early Friday morning near Boulder Creek in the Santa Cruz mountains.

Sheriff's deputies say the teen had killed a kitten and was armed.

Investigators from the sheriff's department still aren't sure what caused the 17-year-old to turn violent against his grandfather and the kitten around 10:30 p.m. Friday night. They had hoped to bring in a negotiator, but then deputies say the teenager pointed a rifle at them.

When deputies arrived at the scene, they found the teenager's grandparents standing in the driveway. The 70-year-old grandfather told deputies his grandson had beaten him with a club.

"The grandfather went on to tell our deputies that the 17-year-old grandson was still in the house, acting violently, and he warned our deputies there were guns inside the house," said Santa Cruz sheriff deputy Jim Hart.

The 17-year-old's name has not been released. He lived at the secluded Boulder Creek house with his grandparents. A dead kitten was also lying outside, killed, the grandparents said, by the teenager.

At a news conference in Santa Cruz, Hart said the teen stood his ground outside the house. Deputies said at various times, he held a club, then a rifle, pointing it at the deputies. That's when two deputies shot the teen four times.

"Our deputies then immediately administered first-aid and called fire and ambulance to the home," Hart said. "Five minutes later, fire and ambulance arrived and took over life-saving efforts."

The grandson was taken to a regional trauma center in San Jose where he died during emergency surgery.

Hart said he did not know whether the teen's rifle was loaded or not. He also told reporters the call to 911 is not being released.

Two years ago, Hart says the teen had threatened family members with a knife. Deputies responded and the grandson was detained for a mental health evaluation.
Copyright © 2022 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.