Teenage boy, dog fatally shot after animal attacks deputy, authorities say

PALMDALE, California -- A 17-year-old boy and a dog were fatally shot by deputies early Thursday morning after the pit bull attacked a deputy in Palmdale, authorities told ABC.

The incident occurred about 3:47 a.m. in the 38500 block of 10th Street East, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said in a statement.

Deputies at the scene said they initially responded to a report of loud music at a party. As they were conducting an investigation, one of the deputies was allegedly bitten by a pit bull. The deputy was not seriously injured.

The dog was restrained by a person at the scene, but as the investigation continued the animal got loose again and charged at the deputies, authorities said. The deputies then opened fire on the pit bull.

Amid the shooting, a friend of the dog's owner allegedly raced around a corner in an effort to apprehend the animal. Caught in the crossfire, the teen was struck at least once in the upper torso, sheriff's deputies said.

He was transported to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. His aunt identified him as Armando Garcia.

"He was trying to stop the dog from attacking the cops, and they shot both of them, I guess," said Nick Perez, a friend of Garcia.

Sheriff's officials gave additional details about the incident at news conference.

"We believe that when the individual came out from behind the building, which was approximately 40 feet away from where the shooting occurred, he may have been struck by one of the skip rounds," sheriff's Capt. Christopher Bergner said. "It is what we're calling an extremely, extremely unfortunate incident at this time."

A deputy was also struck by a "skip" round, sheriff's officials said. He was treated at a medical center and released.

Homicide Bureau detectives responded to the scene, where a section of 10th Street was closed.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the sheriff's department at (323) 890-5500.

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