The suspect shot and killed by Tempe police officers Tuesday was a 14-year-old boy with an airsoft gun, a police release said.
An arriving officer found the boy when responding to a suspicious vehicle call near 48th Street and Baseline Road just after 2:30 p.m. The teen was burglarizing a vehicle, according to police.
Police say the boy got out of the car and took off on foot holding what appeared to be a handgun, and the officer chased him on foot, giving verbal commands.
The officer "perceived a threat and fired his service weapon striking the suspect," according to police. The release did not specify why the officer felt threatened.
Officers performed CPR and called for paramedics, according to the Tempe Police Department. The teen was transported to a hospital and pronounced dead.
Police later determined that the gun was a replica airsoft gun. They also found items that they believe were from the burglarized car.
A man who says the boy was breaking into his truck when police showed up said he has a fake gun in his truck and that police may have mistaken it as the boy's.
"I would like to tell the family that the young man shouldn't have died," he said.
Tempe PD says it will "conduct a thorough investigation in conjunction with the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office."
This is the fourth officer-involved shooting in Maricopa County in 2019 after a record-setting year in 2018.