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ASPartOfMe
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12 Mar 2024, 10:13 am

Apple Valley teen shot by deputy had autism, was acting out after family dispute, attorney says

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We're learning more about what led up to a fatal encounter between a 15-year-old at his Apple Valley home and San Bernardino County sheriff's deputies.

A deputy shot and killed Ryan Gainer at his home on Saturday after his family called 911 to report he was attacking his sister and breaking doors and glass at the home.

Body camera video released by the sheriff's department shows the teen charging at a deputy with a sharp gardening tool on a 5-foot pole.

With his gun raised, the deputy shouts "Hey get back! Get back or you're gonna get shot" as he tries to retreat. As Ryan continues running at him with the tool, the deputy is seen trying to run away but pointing his gun back as the teen nearly catches up to him.

The released portion of the video ends there, but the department says the teen was struck by gunfire and then later declared deceased at a local hospital.

Ryan's family has retained an attorney, who tells Eyewitness News the boy had autism and was acting out after a dispute over doing household chores.

"Ryan is a 15-year-old with autism, and sometimes in order to release stress or if he he's a little too worked up, he'll go on a run," attorney DeWitt Lacy says.

"When he came back there was a dispute that arose because he wanted to play video games, and he needed to do his chores, and he started acting out."

Gainer's sister called 911 for help. Audio released of that call documents her telling the dispatcher that her brother is attacking his own sister and breaking glass and doors in the home.

There is no indication on the released audio that the family informed the department of his mental health status.

Neighbors say deputies have been called to the home before. When shown the video, several neighbors differed on whether there was a need to fatally shoot Ryan, or whether the situation could have been de-escalated somehow.

"He'd been struggling with a few things but he was basically a good kid," said one neighbor.

Another neighbor said from the video it appeared the deputy had no choice but to protect himself.


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carlos55
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12 Mar 2024, 3:23 pm

This kind of thing happens in the UK, but does not end in shooting, usually the autistic person is locked up for an indefinite period usually years or decades.

When you hear stories from the UK of autistic people locked up in secure facilities for decades, this is exactly the type of situation where it all starts from.


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autisticelders
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13 Mar 2024, 8:10 am

heartbreaking.


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BillyTree
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13 Mar 2024, 2:14 pm

In these cases there should be a way to get help from a team of professionals with knowledge of autism and know how to de-escalate the situation. Nobody should get killed for being autistic.


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blitzkrieg
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13 Mar 2024, 3:10 pm

BillyTree wrote:
In these cases there should be a way to get help from a team of professionals with knowledge of autism and know how to de-escalate the situation. Nobody should get killed for being autistic.


Agreed 100%