Photo by John Schreiber.
Photo by John Schreiber.

An 18-year-old former El Camino College student wounded in an officer-involved shooting on the campus was carrying a pellet gun and had penned a suicide note, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department announced Friday.

The Airsoft pellet gun that Peyton A. Dingman was carrying on Thursday was “completely wrapped in black electrical tape,” apparently to make it look like a real firearm, said Deputy Ryan Rouzan of the Sheriff’s Information Bureau.

Two campus police officers shot Dingman after he allegedly pointed the gun at them when they arrived at a parking garage on the west side of the campus to investigate what turned out to be a false report that he was holding a female hostage, authorities said.

Dingman, who was shot in the upper body, underwent surgery and was listed today in critical condition, according to the sheriff’s department. He is expected to survive and face criminal charges.

No officers were injured.

A suicide note was found at Dingman’s home, Rouzan said.

Dingman, who attended the college last summer, called 911 from his cell phone shortly after 11 a.m. Thursday. In the call, which was routed through Hawthorne police to the El Camino College campus police, he said he had a gun and was holding a female hostage at the parking structure, Rouzan said.

When officers responded and encountered Dingman, the young man “produced what appeared to be a gun and pointed it at the officers,” who fired their duty weapons, the deputy said.

No hostage was found at the community college, which is in an unincorporated area near Torrance.

City News Service

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