Armando Garcia-Muro: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

armando garcia

Armando Garcia. (Twitter)

Armando Garcia-Muro was identified as the 17-year-old boy shot and killed along with his dog by sheriff’s deputies in Palmdale, California.

According to The Los Angeles Times, the boy was trying to stop the dog, a pit bull, from attacking officers. The teen “was accidentally killed as he tried to stop his aggressive dog from attacking the officers,” the Times reported.

ABC 7 reported that Garcia was shot by a ricocheting bullet. “He was trying to stop the dog from attacking the cops, and they shot both of them, I guess,” said Nick Perez, a friend of Garcia-Muro’s, to ABC 7. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department was the agency involved. (His name was also given in the media as Armando Garcia).

Here’s what you need to know:

1. Deputies Were Responding to a Loud Music Complaint When They Shot the Teen, Who Wanted to Go Into the Construction Business

Sheriff’s deputies initially responded to the area for a report of a loud party in a home.

“The 17-year-old was struck in the chest as he tried to jump on the dog,” reported The Los Angeles Times. His family told the media that the teen was just “protecting a dog” when shot.

ABC 7 reported that the teen was shot “in the crossfire.”

“Caught in the crossfire, the teen was struck at least once in the upper torso,” reported the television station.

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Lolita Robinson told KTLA the dog wasn’t aggressive. “The dog was not aggressive,” she said. “I watched the dog grow up, that’s a puppy. It grew up around my grandkids. He’s not aggressive at all, so I’m not understanding why they’re saying he was aggressive and bit an officer.”

According to The Washington Post, Garcia-Muro’s mother said he had big dreams, saying “her son was the eldest of four siblings, loved dogs and wanted to go into the construction business. He would have been a senior at R. Rex Parris High School in Palmdale this fall.”

2. Police Say the Dog Attacked a Deputy

The dog bit a deputy, according to The Los Angeles Times.

As deputies arrived to the home, “a pit bull charged at them and bit one of the deputies in the leg,” the Times reported, adding that the teen tied up the dog to prevent it from attacking deputies again.

However, the dog broke free and again charged at deputies, who fired at the animal right as the boy was diving on top of it, reported the Los Angeles newspaper.

“The dog was restrained by its owner, but as the investigation continued the animal got loose again and charged at the deputies, authorities said. The deputies then opened fire on the pit bull,” ABC 7 reported.

According to ABC 7, the deputy was not seriously injured.

However, family members told The Washington Post the dog was not Garcia-Muro’s. They described him as an animal-loving teen trying to save an animal that was not even his own.

3. Police Called the Shooting a Very ‘Unfortunate’ Incident

In the initial report, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said the shooting unfolded at 3:47 a.m. and referred to the dead boy as a suspect.

“Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau detectives are responding to the 38500 block of 10th St East, Palmdale, to investigate the circumstances surrounding a deputy-involved shooting,” the Sheriff’s Department wrote on Facebook. “The suspect was struck by gunfire and transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.”

“It is what we’re calling an extremely, extremely unfortunate incident at this time,” Sheriff’s Capt. Christopher Bergner told KTLA.

Police later released a lengthy statement on Facebook:

Detectives have learned, Palmdale Station deputies responded to a call for service of ‘loud music.’ When deputies arrived and walked up the driveway, a 60-65 pound pit bull aggressively charged at the deputies and attacked one of them, biting the deputy on his left knee.

At that time, a male Hispanic juvenile came from behind the apartment complex and restrained the pit bull and took the dog to the rear of the apartment complex. Deputies then retreated back onto the street for safety and rendered aid to the injured deputy.

As the deputies were awaiting the arrival of paramedics, the pit bull came from the rear of the apartment and again charged at deputy personnel. At that point, two deputies shot at the pit bull from a five to seven feet distance, at which time, the pit bull retreated back to the rear of the apartment complex into the carport area. Deputies returned to the rear of the complex in an attempt to corral the dog to prevent additional victims.

As deputies walked to the rear carport area, they found a juvenile on the ground suffering from what appeared to be a gunshot wound to the chest. Deputies provided medical aide pending the arrival of paramedics. The juvenile was transported to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.

Preliminary investigation indicated the first six to eight feet where the shooting occurred with the pit bull, there was evidence of skip rounds on the driveway area. Detectives believe when the juvenile came out from behind the building, which was approximately 40 feet away from where the shooting occurred with the dog, the juvenile may have been struck by one of the skip rounds.
The deputy who was bitten by the pit bull, also was hit by a bullet fragment to his right leg. The injured deputy was transported to a local hospital to be treated for his injuries and is listed in stable condition.

Based on the pit bull’s condition, it will be euthanized.

A check of call for service for this location reveals deputies responded at least four times for loud music and gang activity in the past two months.

According to The Los Angeles Times, the pit bull “was a full grown male that weighed 60- to 65-pounds and was 5- to 7-feet away when the deputies opened fire.”

4. The Teen May Have Been Hit by a ‘Skip Round’

KTLA provided a slightly different account.

The television station reported that the boy may have been hit by a “skip round” while “walking around the apartment building, which was approximately 40-feet away from the deputies.”

Sheriff’s officials told KTLA that the deputies apparently did not see the boy when they opened fire.

5. The Deaths Come as Police Shootings Around the Country Continue to Raise Concern

charleena lyles

Charleena Lyles. (Facebook)

Tensions have been high in the United States since last summer, when the shooting death of Philando Castile in Minnesota sparked massive protests throughout the country. The officer who shot Castile was acquitted by a jury in June 2017, sparking protests.

The Castile shooting was by no means the only shooting death to spark outrage. Most recently, in Seattle, the death of a pregnant mother of four, Charleena Lyles, by police has touched off protests. You can read more about the Lyles case here: