[symple_googlemap title=”” location=”7200 block of 10th Avenue, South Los Angeles, CA” height=”300″ zoom=”13″]

The wounding of a 15-year-old boy in an officer-involved shooting in South Los Angeles prompted police Thursday to again express concerns about realistic toy and replica guns and call for the passage of pending state legislation to require that they be made in bright orange or green colors.

An officer shot the boy in the back Tuesday morning as the teen stood near another youth holding a replica handgun, which was displayed at a news conference at Los Angeles police headquarters today alongside a real version of the same weapon.

The officer was one of a group of suit-wearing criminal gang homicide officers conducting an investigation about 7:45 a.m. Tuesday in the 7200 block of 10th Avenue, near Crenshaw Boulevard and Florence Avenue.

The wounded boy was in an alley with friends when the shooting happened.

One officer called out to the youth with what appeared a real firearm and ordered him to put it down, and when he didn’t, an officer-involved shooting occurred, police said.

The boy holding the replica gun was not injured. At the time of the shooting, he was pointing the replica away from officers, who were apparently unable to see its red tip, said Los Angeles Police Department spokesman Cmdr. Andrew Smith.

The wounded boy was taken to a hospital, treated and released to his mother.

No arrests were made, but Smith said the boy with the replica could eventually be charged.

“We are really urging parents: don’t let your children carry these guns in public, don’t buy these … guns for your kids because they are so dangerous,” Smith said. “I’d ask you, if you were a police officer, and pointing to the guns on my far right here, would you be able to distinguish which one of those two pistols is a real one and which one is a fake gun? Not just in the dark, not just in a dark alley, not just when you are driving by someone on the street, but even now. Even our gun experts have a hard time telling the difference …”

Toy or replica firearms should be kept locked up, used only under supervision, and never taken anywhere one might encounter a police officer, Smith said.

“Let’s face it, no cop in our city and probably no cop on the planet wants to shoot an innocent person, especially a child ,” he said.

The shooting is under investigation by the LAPD’s Force Investigation Division.

City News Service

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