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Teens Charged With Attempted Robbery, Assault in Attack on Off-Duty Customs Officer That Left 1 Dead

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Two teens were hit with charges Wednesday related to an Arcadia incident in which three boys attacked an off-duty federal customs officer who pulled out his gun and struck two, killing one.

Authorities respond to a shooting involving an off-duty customs officer in Arcadia on May 26, 2017. (Credit: RMG News)

A 14- and 15-year-old boy are facing attempted robbery and assault charges in connection with the May 26 incident in which they and a friend allegedly approached the U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer from behind and attempted to rob him as he was walking on the sidewalk along 1st Street, south of Colorado Boulevard, around 8:15 p.m., Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said.

The third teen involved in the assault was shot by the officer and died the next morning at the hospital. His mother identified him as Darius Smith, 15.

Authorities had originally reported two of the boys were 14, but later said Smith and another were 15.

After investigating the events, officials discovered surveillance footage from the Gold Line Metro Rail shows all four parties on the train. As the officer exited the train at the Arcadia station and headed north on 1st Avenue, the three teens followed him, detectives said.

Darius Smith is seen in an undated photo provided by family members on May 27, 2017.

One of the boys allegedly hit the officer’s head several times while another pointed a replica handgun at him and demanded his property. The officer, whose identity has not been released, then pulled out his CBP-issued handgun, striking two.

Surveillance video also shows the boys run up on the officer from behind, as well as the attempted robbery and shooting, officials said.

Following the shooting, Smith can be seen with the other 15-year-old fleeing north on 1st Avenue, then east on Colorado Boulevard.

Arcadia police found Smith about half a block away from where the officer was assaulted suffering from four gunshot wounds, including two in his upper body and two in his buttocks. He was transported to a nearby hospital, where he died around 5:30 a.m. the next morning.

The other 15-year-old was soon found uninjured at a home in the area and taken into custody, deputies said.

The replica handgun used in an assault on an off-duty customs officer in Arcadia is seen in a photo released by Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials on June 1, 2017.

The 14-year-old, who was also struck by the officer’s gunfire, remained at the scene held at gunpoint by the customs officer until Arcadia police arrived. He was then taken to a nearby hospital where he remained on Thursday, authorities said.

The officer was also treated at a hospital for soft tissue damage to the side of his head sustained during the attack.

The handgun used by the assailants during the attempted robbery was found near Smith. Further investigation revealed it to be revealed it to be a replica semi-automatic handgun that looks “exactly like a real handgun,” according to sheriff’s officials.

The 15-year-old suspect is scheduled to be arraigned on June 6.

Although charges have been filed, sheriff’s detectives are continuing their investigation.