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A black teen carrying an Airsoft gun was shot by police in Jacksonville, Florida, on Friday night after an officer mistook the 14-year-old's BB gun for a real weapon. The boy suffered a non-life-threatening injury to the leg.
Officers were called to a Jacksonville woman's house just after 11 p.m. after she said there was an "armed prowler" shooting at her window, said Tom Hackney of the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.
Officer Josh Livingood, who has been on the Jacksonville police force for two years, approached the teen and told him to put his hands up, authorities said. The boy then pulled out an Airsoft gun and pointed it at Livingood, Hackney said.
Livingood, not realizing it was a BB gun, then fired six shots at the boy, hitting him once in the left leg, according to Hackney.
The teen, who was not identified, has "developmental and psychiatric disorders," Hackney added, and has no criminal history but had had multiple interactions with Jacksonville police before.
Livingood has been placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation. He has not been charged with anything at this time.
"It''s a sad and unfortunate thing that it turns out that it was a BB gun, but it would be as equally sad and as equally unfortunate if that officer hesitated because he wasn't sure it was a BB gun and I'm out here updating you on a dead police officer," Hackney told reporters overnight.
The teen was still in the hospital late Saturday morning, Hackney said at a news conference Saturday morning. No one else was injured in the incident.
The woman who call 911 did not recognize the teen, who lives in an area nearby and is "known to frequent" the townhomes where he was spotted.
"Why a 14-year-old would be roaming the streets, carrying what looks like a gun ... there's nothing good that's going to come of that," Hackney said.