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VIDEO: 15-year-old fatally shot after charging at a deputy in Apple Valley

APPLE VALLEY, Calif. ( — A 15-year-old was fatally shot after charging at a deputy while armed with a sharp garden tool Saturday afternoon in Apple Valley.

It happened on March 9, 2024, at about 4:48 p.m., when deputies from the Apple Valley Police Department responded to an emergency 9-1-1 call at a residence in the 13400 block of Iroquois Road.

According to a sheriff’s news release, the family reported to Sheriff’s Dispatch Ryan Gainer was actively assaulting family members and damaging property at the residence.

Lethal Force Encounter Occurs After Deputies Respond to a Suspect Assaulting Family Members

At approximately 4:54 p.m., the first deputy arrived at the residence and was confronted by Gainer, who was armed with an approximate five-foot-long garden tool, with a sharp bladed end.

“Without provocation, Gainer raised the bladed end of the tool and ran toward the deputy. The deputy retreated and Gainer chased the deputy in an attempt to assault him with the bladed end of the tool,” stated the news release.

A lethal force encounter occurred, and Gainer was struck by gunfire.

Deputies quickly rendered medical aid to Gainer and continued until paramedics arrived. Gainer was transported by ambulance to a local hospital where he later succumbed to his injuries.

Detectives with the Sheriff’s Specialized Investigations Division responded and assumed the investigation.

According to the family, the autistic teen was experiencing a mental health crisis at the time of the shooting.

“Our social safety net for those experiencing mental illness needs to be strengthened. Our deputies handle seemingly insurmountable calls daily. Most of these calls do not end in violence. However, this one ended in tragedy for Ryan, his family, and for the deputies who responded. Rapidly evolving, violent encounters are some of the most difficult, requiring split second decisions. While these decisions are lawful, they are awful in terms of our humanity. I feel for both Ryan’s family and my deputies who will struggle with this for their entire lives,” stated Sheriff Shannon Dicus.

Anyone with information about this case is asked to contact Detective Shawn Thurman or Sergeant Justin Giles at the Specialized Investigations Division at (909) 890-4904.

Callers can remain anonymous and contact We-Tip at 800-78CRIME or

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