A 15-year-old boy was shot dead outside his San Diego high school early Saturday morning, minutes after he apparently called 911 to request a welfare check on himself. Police say that when they responded to a call to check on the safety of a teenager outside Torrey Pines High School, the teen pointed a weapon at the officers and was shot dead as he walked toward them, refusing orders to drop it, the New York Times reports. Police say the weapon turned out to be a semi-automatic BB air pistol, which they describe as a "close replica" of a handgun that appeared real until it was closely examined, Reuters reports. Police say the teen, who is white, was shot dead within a minute of officers arriving at the high school.
Police say they didn't realize until after the shooting that the 911 caller—who told dispatchers the teen was unarmed—had been the boy himself. Both officers fired their weapons, and police say body camera footage will be examined as part of the investigation. The lead cop on the investigation tells the Los Angeles Times it would be premature to call the death a "suicide by cop." The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that mourners and a few protesters gathered at the high school Sunday. One classmate described the teen as "intelligent, a nice kid" who was good with computers. "Our family is mourning the loss of a loving and wonderful young man," the boy's mother said in a statement to Fox 5. "We ask that you respect our privacy as we remember him and all he meant to us."