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15-Year-Old Boy In Stolen Car Fatally Shot By Police After Repeatedly Reaching For Gun

Glendale, AZ – A 15-year-old boy behind the wheel of a stolen car was fatally shot by police after he reached for a gun as officers were taking him into custody on Wednesday afternoon.

The incident occurred outside an apartment complex near Bethany Home Road and 63rd Avenue shortly before 2 p.m. on July 6, KVVU reported.

Glendale Police Department (GPD) Sergeant Randy Stewart said two officers spotted the stolen car and found a 16-year-old boy and a 15-year-old boy inside the vehicle.

During the course of the investigation, the 15-year-old, later identified by his family as Juan Carlos Bojorquez, allegedly told the officers he had a gun in the vehicle, KVVU reported.

Police told him not to touch the weapon, according to Sgt. Stewart.

But when the officers went to take Bojorquez into custody, he suddenly went on the fight and managed to escape from their grasp, KVVU reported.

He then allegedly reached into the stolen car and tried to grab the gun, at which point one of the officers shot him, Sgt. Stewart said.

Despite his wound, the teen again reached for the firearm.

Police then shot him again, KVVU reported.

It is unclear how many times the suspect was shot.

Bojorquez was rushed to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

No officers or anyone else in the area was injured during the encounter, KVVU reported.

The 16-year-old boy who was also in the vehicle at the time of the incident was placed under arrest.

It is unclear what charges he might face.

Investigators said they located the gun Bojorquez had allegedly been reaching for sitting inside a cubby area near the driver’s side of the stolen car, KVVU reported.

At least one of the officers who was at the scene was wearing a bodycam at the time of the shooting, according to The Arizona Republic.

Investigators were also reviewing security footage from nearby buildings.

Sgt. Stewart said the Buckeye Police Department (BPD) is conducting an independent investigation into the fatal officer-involved shooting, The Arizona Republic reported.

Bojorquez’s aunt, Merlinda Bazan, said her family is devastated over the teen’s death.

“He is a baby, he’s a little boy. He’s 15 years old,” Bazan told KVVU. “What can be my reaction is be hurt. My family is hurt. All our family is hurt from what happened.”

Bazan said the family is planning to meet with an attorney, KPNX reported.

“We know kids are not perfect, no one is perfect in this world, but because he’s not perfect didn’t give them the right to do that to him,” she argued.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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