PURCELLVILLE, VA — A community is devastated after a suicidal teenager was shot to death by police following a family’s call for help.
The Washington Post describes what happened:
Christian began cutting himself with a knife, his mother said, and a friend called 911 shortly after 2 p.m.
Sandra Sierra said the call worried her son, who fled the home in the 100 block of Frazer Drive by jumping off a balcony. A friend gave chase.
Kelly Sobel, a neighbor several doors down, was getting out of the shower when she heard her neighbor scream: “Stop! Stop!”
Sobel glanced out the window and saw the neighbor running down her front steps with a dish towel. Sandra Sierra said her son was bloody at that point.
Sobel said that a second later, she heard Christian Sierra and the friend chasing him barrel into her garage door with a loud boom.
The friend and her neighbor tried to calm Sierra, but he took off again, Sobel said. The friend and neighbor followed, she said. “They were flying down the street,” Sobel said.
Christian Sierra rounded a corner. Several witnesses said they heard a police officer yell “Freeze!” or “Stop!” and then heard shots. Sobel said she heard three or four pops.
Christian was shot an unknown number of times by a Purcellville police officer, who was responding to a suicide call. Christian died shortly thereafter.