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Teen allegedly fired gun, falsely claimed three black men had burst into house, police say

A 17-year-old boy was arrested after allegedly firing a gun in his Woodland Hills apartment and calling 911 to falsely report that three black men had tried to force their way in, police said.

Officers went to the residence in the 21000 block of Erwin Street about 4:20 p.m. Wednesday after the teen called 911, said Los Angeles police Capt. Paul Vernon of the Topanga Station.

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"This is one of the hottest calls an officer can respond to,'' Vernon said. "Officers responded with lights and siren and the helicopter was overhead quickly, but there were no suspects."

Vernon said officers determined that the teen, whose mother was out of town, was safe and home alone.

"His story that three black men had tried to force their way into his third-floor apartment ... was made up," Vernon said. "The caller's initial report to 911 said the suspects had fired one bullet through the door, into the apartment.

"Officers were immediately suspicious about the boy's story when they realized the bullet hole in the door had come from the inside out — not the outside in, as the boy had claimed," Vernon said. Detectives obtained a search warrant for the apartment and seized marijuana and found evidence of a firearm, Vernon said.

"Officers soon found a .380 Glock handgun in the bushes, below the balcony of the boy's apartment," Vernon said.

The teen was arrested on suspicion of illegal discharge of a firearm, and taken to Sylmar Juvenile Hall, Vernon said. Vernon said the boy's mother may also face charges of child endangerment for leaving an unsecured firearm in a residence with a minor.

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