15-Year-Old Boy Killed in Officer Involved Shooting

A police officer shot a teenager he had stopped on Westborough Boulevard after realizing he was armed, according to police.

UPDATE 12:39 p.m.:

Police provided new information at a press conference this morning about the officer-involved shooting that left a 15-year-old now identified as Derrick Gaines dead.

An officer on duty initiated contact with two juveniles at the Arco gas station shortly before 9 p.m. on Tuesday night because they were acting "in a suspicious manner," according Capt. Mike Brosnan. One complied with the officer and one, Gaines, ran away, Brosnan said. 

Gaines removed a handgun from his waistband, at which point the officer feared for his life and shot him, Brosnan said.

"It's always a tragic and traumatic event for all involved when a suspect's actions precipitate the use of deadly force," said Brosnan, promising a "lengthy" investigation by the police department and the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office.

"We as a community are healing from many young deaths in this community," Brosnan said. "South San Francisco is not accustomed to this sort of behavior."

Gaines was known to law enforcement, but it's not clear whether he was known to the officer involved. Police are in possession of the weapon they say Gaines was carrying; whether he pointed it at the officer will be a matter for the investigation, Brosnan said.

Gaines' companion, who complied with the officer, was not detained or arrested, Brosnan said.

The officer involved is on administrative leave.

It's been over 30 years since there was a fatal officer-involved shooting in South San Fancisco and several years since there was an officer-involved shooting of any type, according to Police Chief Michael Massoni.

Less than a year ago, a 14-year-old South San Francisco resident, , was shot in a drive-by shooting, and just last month, in a federal investigation into a December 2010 shooting that left three young men dead.

Massoni said that increased gun possession was a factor in these recent deaths. , Massoni noted that the Neighborhood Response Team, created last year to fight gang violence, had confiscated 20 handguns.

Brosnan reiterated the police department's committment to transparency in this case.

"We want [the investigation] to be as detailed and lengthy as needed," Brosnan said.

UPDATE: 11:54 a.m.: 

The teenager shot and killed by a police officer was 15, not 14 as previously reported, according to South San Francisco police.

UPDATE 10:57 a.m.: 

South San Francisco police have confirmed that the person shot by police shortly before 9 p.m. last night was a juvenile.

He was apparently a student at Foxridge, the Community Day School program for expelled students, according to Superintendent Alejandro Hogan.

Hogan said counselors are in the process of reaching out to the teenager's family and will make a decision about how to respond to the wider school community later in the day.

The student is the second South San Francisco teenager to be shot and killed in the last year. last September.

Arco owner Oliver Chin said his son called him at 9 p.m. last night to let him know about the shooting. 

One cashier was on duty when he heard shots ring out.

Chin said that by the time he arrived, the shooting scene had been roped off.

Chin has owned the gas station since 1988 and said it's the first time something like this has happened.

"It's a safe area," Chin said.

UPDATE 9:05 a.m.: 

The person fatally shot by a South San Francisco police officer was a 14-year-old teenager, KTVU reports.

An officer had tried to stop two people at a Gellert Boulevard McDonald's when one of them fled toward the neighboring ARCO station on Westborough Boulevard, according to KTVU.

South San Francisco Police Sgt. Danny Gil told KTVU that at one point the teenager turned and removed a firearm. At that point the police officer fired a single shot, striking and ultimately killing the teen.

The teenager had just completed eighth grade, according to a woman who said her son was his classmate and friend.

Diana Mayorga brought a balloon and sign reading "Stop Police Violence," to place alongside teddy bears that already adorned one corner of the gas station Wednesday morning. She said her son, Gabriel, hadn't been with the teen last night, but they regularly hung out at McDonald's.

"My son is a good kid. His friend is a good kid," Mayorga said. "They keep taking out guns and shooting this kids."

Mayorga said her son starting getting phone calls last night that his friend since sixth grade had died. 

"He was up all night long," Mayorga said.



Just before 9 p.m. on Tuesday night, a South San Francisco police officer shot a man he had stopped for a pedestrian check after realizing he was armed.

The officer had stopped the man on the 2300 block of Westborough Boulevard, just east of Westborough Middle School. Upon realizing the pedestrian was carrying a firearm, the police officer feared for his life, according to police.

The officer began first aid; paramedics transported the injured man to the hospital where he was later pronounced dead, according to police.

The and the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office are investigating the incident.

Patch will update this story with further information as it becomes available. The police department plans to hold a press conference later today.


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Doug Radtke June 07, 2012 at 03:47 PM
The kid was 15, already fleeing the SFPD and pulled out a gun. It's unfortunate this kid made several bad decisions (hanging out with bad kids, running from a cop, and then pulling a gun out) but the title could have just as easily been "SFPD officer shot and killed by 15 year old". Anyone who gives this officer flack has no idea the pressure of a life or death decision. There's nothing "trigger happy" about shooting someone that points a gun at you. According to what I'm reading, he acted by the book.
asdfghjkl June 08, 2012 at 02:57 AM
Derrick was a good kid, regardless of what anyone can say. He didn't deserve to die . He was a good person, sweet, and my friend. Rest in Paradise Derrick. We'll all miss you to the full extent anyone can feel. We know you're in a better place, away from all these people. SSF police, i hope you're content on talking away a great person from everyone who loved him.
Me0220 June 08, 2012 at 07:29 AM
One less thank God! What an ignorant people :-) calling this "A Good kid" he is now where he is supposed to be, thank to his own choice and thanks to the stupid parents that I'm pretty sure they are just like their son: useless
DO June 12, 2012 at 01:54 PM
How unfortunate for Derrick, a minor, to feel that carrying a gun was the right decision to make. Obviously, the point isn't that this kid got what "he deserved", rather he had poor judgement and decision making ability. What a sad loss of potential and his parents will miss that opportunity to teach him responsibility and how to make sound decisions. I don't judge the parents for being angry for the loss of their son, I do judge them for blaming a SSF officer for making a sound decision to protect SSF and his own life. However, maybe it's easier to blame someone else for the death of a child rather than grieving quietly and acknowledging that Derrick made a decision without being capable of understanding what the consequences might be. Rest in peace, Derrick and thank you to the SSF officer that kept our city safe.
ljljlkj June 15, 2012 at 09:44 AM
The SSFPD did the right thing here, the kid ran and tried to pull out a gun on the police officer, he left the officer no other choice. Not to mention he goes to foxridge (for expelled student) which support him acting like this. Ignorant kids these days.


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