Every year, nearly 3000 children and teens die from gunfire, and nearly 14,000 are injured.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

17-year old Utah boy with Down's almost shot because of toy gun

Police in Clinton, Utah spotted a shadowy figure with a gun late at night.  He didn't respond to verbal commands, and nearly got shot before they managed to see the tiny red tip at the end of the toy gun he was holding.  The boy turned out to have Down's Syndrome and had gotten out of his home late at night.

From the article:
"I saw someone crouched by the van," Benedict said. "At that time, the deputy I was training stated that she saw a gun."
They pulled around for a closer look, from about a couple dozen yards away.
"As I flipped around, I did see a gentleman crouched down by the van in a tactical position, and he was pointing a gun," Benedict said. The officers had to be careful and their training kicked in.
"I called out the location, asked for additional units," Benedict said.
Then the teen turned and pointed the gun toward the officers. As officers pulled their weapons, calling for the boy to drop his, Benedict said the teen just turned around, keeping the gun at his side.
It was a standoff for a few seconds. "As he was walking away, we were closing the distance, giving verbal commands to drop the weapon," Benedict said.
But it wasn't until the officers got much closer that they could see the 17-year-old was holding a plastic toy gun with an orange tip and that he had Down syndrome.
Still, toy or not, deputies said in the dark it all seems very real and dangerous. "(What was) going through my mind is that this was a threat to mine and my partner’s lives," Benedict recalled.
Police say parents need to be aware that those real-looking guns, even the ones with orange tips, can be dangerous, especially since some criminals have painted orange tips on their real weapons.
The teen’s mother said the boy loves the police and was playing “policeman.”


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