A 16-year-old boy with a replica gun and a knife was killed following an armed stand-off with a Maryland state trooper.
It followed two anonymous 911 calls to police with reports of the teenager, who has been named as Peyton Ham, “acting suspicious” and “with a gun” in Leonardtown, Maryland, on Tuesday afternoon.
According to preliminary investigations, the first caller failed to give a location before disconnecting, police said.
Shortly after, a second caller described the teenager as being in the driveway of an address in Hollywood Road, again “acting suspicious” and with what appeared, at first, to be a gun.
When a state trooper arrived at the scene, Mr Ham was found with a replica gun, which witnesses told investigators looked authentic.
The state trooper then shot the teenager with a firearm after Mr Ham allegedly took a “shooting stance”, according to a witness, “pointing a gun at the trooper”.
Mr Ham, who was wounded, then removed a knife from his pocket. A second witness said the state trooper shot the teenager for a second time.
He was transported from the scene to MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
“Any loss of life is a tragedy; this especially is a tragedy,” said Maryland state police superintendent Jerry Jones to reports on Tuesday, as NBC Washington reported.
“We take these very seriously,” added Mr Jones. “I certainly empathise with the family of this young man and what they’re feeling right now. I can’t even comprehend how sad this has got to be, and tragic, and we feel that. The investigators feel that.”
A knife and a replica handgun, which Maryland police described as a “close representation of an actual gun”, were recovered from the scene.
The trooper, who was uninjured, is on administrative leave while an investigation is carried out, said Maryland police.
It follows the fatal shooting of 20-year-old Daunte Wright in Brooklyn Centre, Maryland, after a police officer reportedly fired a gun instead of a taser.