LOS ANGELES, California - Jesse James Romero, 14, was identified as the victim of a shootout with Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) on Tuesday in Boyle Heights, a predominantly Hispanic Los Angeles neighborhood.
The incident occurred at 5:50 p.m. Tuesday after police responded to complaints of vandalism. According to a police report, officers from the LAPD's gang division began a foot pursuit of an allegedly armed suspect in the area.
Detective Meghan Aguilar said that the chase ended when police opened fire on the suspect. Paramedics pronounced the victim, a Los Angeles resident, dead on the scene.
Romero's mother, Teresa Domínguez, denied accusations that her son shot at police.
“I don't know what happened," Domínguez told Univision during an interview. "They say he had a gun but he didn't have any gun."
She last saw her son earlier in the day Tuesday, she said, when she arrived home after work. "I got home from work, he told me he was hungry, I went to my room to sleep and left him playing there," she said. "When I got up he'd left. I never imagined this could happen."
During a press conference, the LAPD showed an image of Romero's supposed revolver, which was recovered from the scene. It's unclear if the suspect fired at police.
On Wednesday morning, the coroner's office confirmed Romero's identity.
The LAPD said the officers involved in the shooting were wearing body cameras but it's not yet known if the cameras were turned on at the time of the incident. Investigators are also reviewing security footage from the area.
Romero was the 12th person killed by on-duty LAPD officers this year, according to the LA Times.