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15-year-old boy dies after shot by officers in Glendale, police say

The officer-involved shooting occurred Wednesday afternoon near 63rd Avenue and Bethany Home Road in Glendale.

GLENDALE, Ariz. — A 15-year-old boy has died from injuries sustained Wednesday after an officer-involved shooting in Glendale.

The family identified the boy as Juan Carlos Bojorquez but police have not confirmed.

Glendale police said the incident began Wednesday morning after a car was reported stolen near 91st and Glendale avenues.

At about 1:30 p.m. officers located the stolen car near 63rd Avenue, north of Bethany Home Road in the parking lot of an apartment complex with two teenagers inside. 

Bojorquez was the driver, and his 16-year-old cousin was in the passenger seat, according to the family.

When officers contacted them, police said the driver told them he had a gun in the car.

After officers removed the driver from the vehicle, a struggle ensued, the department said.

“He broke away, reached back in the vehicle where the handgun was at and that was when one of the detectives shot at him,” Sergeant Randy Steward said. “He actually stopped for a moment and then continued back towards the handgun again when the officer shot more rounds at him.”

He was taken to a hospital with multiple gunshot wounds, but doctors could not save him.

Police said a handgun was found in a cubby next to the driver's area.

The 15-year-old’s aunt, Merlinda Martinez Bazan, disputes police accounts of what happened and said a witness recorded the encounter, but alleged police took that person’s phone.

“He let them know that the gun was in the cubby, he let them know,” she said. “How was he going to turn over to get the gun when he was already shot. He was on the floor bleeding for his life. That’s just not real.”

Bazan said the family is planning to get an attorney.

“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 added.

Glendale authorities said the detective who fired the shots did not have a body-worn camera, but another officer that was on the scene did.

The 16-year-old passenger, who the family said was Bojorquez’s cousin, was taken into custody without incident.

The Buckeye Police Department is the lead in the investigation.

EN ESPAÑOL: Joven de 15 años muere tras una balacera en Glendale que involucró a un oficial, dice la policía

This is a developing story and updates will be published as they become available.

Credit: 12 News
Glendale police say a person sustained critical injuries after an officer-involved shooting Wednesday afternoon near 63rd Avenue.

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