A candlelight vigil was held Sunday night for a teenage boy who remained hospitalized after being shot by a sheriff’s deputy in Highland.
Dozens of people marched around the neighborhood where the shooting occurred, carrying signs that asked, “Why did [the] San Bernardino Sheriff Dept. shoot Joshua Alvarez?”
Deputies responded to the 7400 block of Rogers Lane at 10:36 p.m. Saturday after receiving a report of a domestic disturbance, according to a news release from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.
The people who contacted authorities said they were in fear for their safety after a family member – identified as a 16-year-old boy – was armed with a weapon, according to the statement.
When deputies arrived at the home, the teen was seen walking away from the location, authorities said.
“As deputies attempted to make contact with the suspect, he turned toward the deputies; armed with a hammer and a sharp instrument,” according to the Sheriff’s Department’s statement. “The suspect attempted to attack a deputy; causing the deputy to fire his duty weapon, striking the suspect.”
The mother of the 16-year-old identified him as Joshua Alvarez, a 10th-grade student at Indian Springs High School.
Alvarez underwent surgery at Loma Linda University Medical Center and was on life support, according to his mother, Elizabeth Camacho.
The teen and his brother had been fighting before deputies were called to the scene, Camacho said.
Alvarez’s cousin, Eddie Dominguez, said he witnessed the shooting.
The deputies told Alvarez, “‘Put the weapon down. Put the weapon down.’ They just fired at him three times,” Dominguez said at Sunday’s vigil. “That’s not necessary. You know, it was this little kid.”
No deputies were injured during the incident.
Investigators from the Sheriff’s Department’s Homicide Detail responded to the scene to look into the deputy-involved shooting, officials said.
Anyone with information about this incident was urged to contact Det. Mauricio Hurtado or Sgt. Trevis Newport of the Sheriff’s Homicide Detail at (909) 387-3589. People wishing to remain anonymous were asked to call the We-Tip Hotline at (800) 78-CRIME.
KTLA’s Dave Mecham contributed to this report.