On Feb. 4, 16-year-old Anthony "A.J." Weber was shot and killed by Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department deputies, who claimed he was reaching for a gun. It's been nearly 10 days after the fatal shooting and still no gun has been discovered. Now, Weber's family and members of his community are confronting the police department and demanding action.
The shooting took place when the sheriff's department received a 911 call around 8 p.m. from a person claiming a young man was pointing a gun, reported KTLA.
After two deputies arrived on scene, they reportedly saw a person who matched the caller's description and they noticed a "handgun tucked into the waistband of his pants," the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department stated in a news release.
The man allegedly ran from deputies and reached down to his waistband, where they believed they saw a gun.
One of the deputies opened fire striking the teen, later identified as Weber, several times in the upper body. Despite their claim that he had a weapon, police discovered no gun in the area.
In a statement, the department alleged someone, maybe a friend of Weber, may have taken the gun.
"While waiting for additional deputies and trying to control the situation, it is believed that someone may have been able to gain possession of the gun and take it," said an updated sheriff's statement.
The claim that Weber had a gun, the fatal shooting, and the inability for the department to communicate why he was a suspect has resulted in much outrage from the community.
Weber was a 16-year-old who had an infant daughter, whom he tried to be a great example for, according to his family. Additionally, they said he took part in ROTC and was not the criminal the police and media are making him out to be.
"Where's the gun? Where's the gun?" John Weber, Anthony's father, asked sheriff's officials at a town hall.
"I know where the bullets are — they're right in my baby's back," Weber yelled.
Anthony Weber's older brother, also named John Weber, said there was a "flaw" in the system and he asked LA Sheriff's Department Capt. Chris Bergner whether the family and community were "due something."
"Absolutely not," replied Capt. Chris Bergner.
In a statement given to the LA Times, the Sheriff's Department said Bergner couldn't hear the question and thought Weber asked, "Don't you think we are doomed?"
"That is the only reason why he replied 'Absolutely not,'" the statement said. Bergner declined to comment Thursday and referred queries to the Sheriff's Department's information bureau.
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