California Cops Kill Teen Who Charged Deputy With ‘Bladed Garden Tool’

Estimated read time 2 min read

Police in California shot and killed a 15-year-old boy after he chased a sheriff’s deputy “in an attempt to assault him” with a garden tool, they said a day after the Saturday incident.

The fatal shooting occurred shortly before 5 p.m., the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department said in a press release. Deputies from the Apple Valley Police Department responded to a local residence after a 911 caller reported that the teenager “was actively assaulting family members and damaging property.”

The first deputy on the scene was confronted by the boy, identified as Ryan Gainer, who “was armed with an approximate five-foot-long garden tool, with a sharp bladed end,” the sheriff’s department said.

“Without provocation, Gainer raised the bladed end of the tool and ran toward the deputy,” it continued. The deputy retreated and Gainer allegedly followed “in an attempt to assault him with the bladed end of the tool.”

“A lethal force encounter occurred, and Gainer was struck by gunfire,” the department said.

The teenager was hospitalized and later pronounced dead.

The deputy involved was not identified by the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department. An investigation into the matter remained ongoing on Sunday night.

Several neighbors told the Victorville Daily Press that Gainer had been “autistic, well-known, and from a good family,” the newspaper reported. When reached by a reporter, his family said they’d been advised by their lawyer not to speak to the media.

The 911 caller did not identify Gainer as autistic to sheriff’s dispatchers, according to the Daily Press, which reviewed a copy of the call audio. Instead, they described the teen as “African American,” and said he was holding glass after breaking a window. “They need to, got to take him in,” the caller reportedly said. “They got to.”

Police body camera footage from the incident shows the deputy issuing multiple verbal warnings to Gainer as he runs at him, according to the Daily Press. “Get back or you’re going to get shot,” he says at one point.