An 18-year-old man spoke exclusively with NBC4 from jail, where he was being held on suspicion of assaulting the undercover officers who shot him during a manhunt for a murder suspect. Keivon Young says he could feel the bullets whiz by his head. "I almost died," he said through tears. Gadi Schwartz reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on Jan. 30, 2014.
For the second time this month, deputies in San Bernardino County have opened fire on a teenager.
The latest incident involves an 18-year-old man shot by undercover deputies as they searched for a different man wanted in a recent killing.
That teenager was out of the hospital and in jail Thursday, accused of assault with a deadly weapon against a peace officer because, officials said, he pulled out a knife when the plain-clothed officers approached him with guns drawn.
Kevion Young was with his family shortly after 9 p.m. Wednesday in a garage in the 11000 block of La Paz Court in Adelanto when he stepped outside to go to the bathroom along the side of the house.
"About 10 seconds later, we heard shots going off, about eight shots," said Darrell Battee, Young’s uncle.
In an exclusive interview with NBC4, Young gave NBC4 his side of the story. NBC4 reached out to the sheriff’s department for more details about the shooting, but those calls were not returned.
"I was trying to out my hands on my head but they shot me in my leg. I couldn't even tell them," he said.
"I laid down 'cause they were shooting. I couldn't do anything. I put my hands on top of my head. I could feel the bullet passing my head. I almost died."
Sheriff’s officials said deputies saw Young sneaking through yards. When they approached the home, the deputies identified themselves but said Young reached for his waistband and pulled out two knives. Fearing for their safety, officials said, the deputies opened fire.
Young told NBC4 he was carrying knives for protection but they were in his waistband and he never pointed them at the deputies, nor did he even know the people running at him with guns were deputies. That's because, Young said, they came shooting at him without identifying themselves first.
Young's uncle said friends and family, including a baby, were inside the garage when the gunfire erupted. At least one bullet hit the side of the house, another struck a car and two others damaged a neighbor’s home.
"They reacted too quickly they had the wrong house – the wrong people," Battee said.
Battee said San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputies handcuffed everyone and told them they were watching the house, looking for Robert Pope, who is wanted for an Apple Valley shooting that left a man dead and a woman seriously hurt.
Pope’s sister used to live at the home and that’s why it was under surveillance.
The Young shooting comes on the heels of a high-profile deputy shooting of a 16-year-old boy in Highland who was armed with a hammer and possibly scissors when he was severely injured last week.