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14-year-old with airsoft gun shot dead by Tempe, Arizona, police officer

The weapon found near the unidentified 14-year-old was a replica 1911 model airsoft gun, which police believe was stolen from the car.

A 14-year-old boy holding an airsoft gun was fatally shot by a Tempe, Arizona, police officer on Tuesday.

Officers responding to a call about a suspicious vehicle discovered a person "who was in the process of burglarizing the vehicle" just after 2:30 p.m. MST (4:30 p.m. ET) Tuesday, according to a statement from the Tempe Police Department.

Antonio Arce, 14, was shot and killed by police in Tempe, Arizona, on Jan. 15, 2019.Facebook

As officers approached, the suspect ran away holding what they thought was a handgun, the statement said. An officer raced after the suspect giving "verbal commands," and during the chase "perceived a threat" and fired his weapon, hitting the teen. They did not specify how many shots were fired.

Officers called paramedics and performed CPR, but the boy was later pronounced dead at the hospital.

The weapon found near the 14-year-old was a replica 1911 model airsoft gun, which police believe was stolen from the car along with other items.

The teen has not been identified by police, but his brother, Jason Gonzalez, told NBC News that his name was Antonio Arce.

Gonzalez, 18, said his brother loved to work out and play football. "He was very smart and had a good heart," Gonzalez added.

Police said the shooting was captured on the officer's body camera, and the Tempe Police Department will investigate the incident along with the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office.

The man whose vehicle was broken into told NBC affiliate KPNX that the pellet gun the boy was holding was his and that he "didn't deserve to die because of something he took from me."