Gun-Toting 15-Year-Old Is Wounded by Deputy
A 15-year-old boy was wounded by a sheriff’s deputy early Sunday after residents of a San Marcos street reported someone was firing shots in front of their homes.
The boy, whose name was not released by authorities, was in serious condition Sunday at Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, where he was taken by Life Flight helicopter about 2 a.m.
The youth suffered a gunshot wound to the stomach and underwent surgery early Sunday, Scripps spokesman Michael Dabney said. He said the boy lives in San Diego with his parents, who asked that neither his name nor theirs be released.
“The parents have requested that they be asked to make no comment on this at this time,” Dabney said.
Deputy Tim Bollig, a four-year veteran of the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, was placed on administrative leave after the shooting, pending a review of the case.
The incident marks the second time in two weeks that a sheriff’s deputy has been involved in a shooting. Jeffrey Bray, 21, was fatally shot May 18 after backing out of the driveway of his Vista apartment complex when, apparently unwittingly, he collided with a patrol car that had followed him because the officers suspected he was driving a stolen vehicle.
The FBI said it will investigate that shooting, and the San Diego County Grand Jury has asked the county Board of Supervisors to create a citizens advisory panel to monitor the Sheriff’s Department and review complaints.
In the Sunday shooting, Deputy Bollig was summoned to the 200 block of Richmar Avenue in San Marcos after reports that a man was firing shots from a rifle, including several rounds aimed at a dog, said Nolan, the sheriff’s spokeswoman.
Bollig parked his car about a block from where the shots had been reported and proceeded on foot, the spokeswoman said.
“Anticipating a possible encounter with a suspect carrying a weapon, in this case a .22-caliber rifle, Deputy Bollig carried his 12-gauge shotgun with him,” the spokeswoman said.
Nolan said Bollig took cover behind a parked vehicle and warned the boy “numerous times,” in Spanish and English, to drop the rifle. Bollig fired only after the boy raised his gun and pointed it in the direction of the deputy, the spokeswoman said. She said the suspect’s gun was loaded when it was seized.
Thomas House, who lives on Pico Avenue, near where the shooting occurred, said he heard “a young kid hollering and yelling and cursing--in English--in the alley behind my house” around 2 a.m. Sunday.
“I thought he was drunk,” House said. “At least, he sounded like he was, and he seemed real upset at somebody. He was also crying.”
House said the youth walked down the alley between Richmar Avenue and Roma Avenue and turned south onto Pico.
“When he walked in front of my house, I noticed then that he was carrying a gun,” House said. “He continued on past the front of my house, to the corner of Pico and Richmar, and then I heard what sounded like two shots, although they were very faint, like they were coming from a small-caliber rifle.
“About 10 minutes later, I heard him again and heard somebody scream, ‘There he is!’ Then I heard a loud shot, which was apparently the deputy’s shotgun blast. I was surprised when I heard the boy was shot, because to me, he didn’t look very threatening. Even if he was carrying a gun, he just didn’t look that threatening.”