Witness Peter Ramos told NBC4 that he heard officers and family members tell Rodriguez Jr., a freshman at Segerstrom High School, several times to drop what police described as a pistol-grip shotgun. The 14 year old died after a confrontation with police. Vikki Vargas reports from Santa Ana for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Sept. 28, 2012.
A suicide note was found in the bedroom of a teenager who was shot and killed late Thursday in Santa Ana after a confrontation with police officers, according to authorities.
Jose Rodriguez. Jr. was holding a gun when police responded to a 911 call at about 11 p.m. in the 500 block of East Wisteria Place, according to officers. Police said they believe Rodriguez Jr., 14, made the 911 call.
Witness Peter Ramos told NBC4 that he heard officers and family members tell Rodriguez Jr., a freshman at Segerstrom High School, several times to drop what police described as a pistol-grip shotgun.
"I heard, 'Drop the gun,' by the officers about 12 times or more," Ramos said. "The parents several times -- his mother and stepfather -- told him to drop the gun."
"To me, he was a peaceful kid," Ramos said.
Officers opened fire when the boy did not drop the weapon. Rodriguez Jr. was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead at about midnight.
Police are investigating the shooting. It was not immediately clear how many officers were involved.
"My understanding is that weapon does not belong to that family," said Cpl. Anthony Bertagna. "So that's another aspect homicide detectives are looking into. Where did he get this gun?"
Counselors said Rodriguez Jr., who did not have a criminal record, showed no signs he was in trouble. The teen was on the football team, recently made the basketball team and was asked to escort a girl on the homecoming court.
"He was a very involved, liked, respected, just a good kid," said Deidra Powell with Santa Ana School District.
The note in Rodriguez's bedroom was discovered when officers executed a search warrant at the residence.