A six-year-old boy was mistakenly shot dead in Texas when police officers opened fire on a suspected car thief, US media reports.
As four officers targeted Amanda Lene Jones, 30, who they believed was armed, a stray bullet pierced the wall of the mobile home where the youngster, Kameron Prescott, lived.
It became lodged in Kameron’s abdomen and officers rushed inside the house to carry him out and administer first aid. He was later pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.
Maria Morales, who works at Wiederstein Elementary School in Texas, paid tribute to the young victim.
“Kameron was a ball of energy, happy, smart and could strike up a conversation with anyone,” she told CNN.
“He also had a great sense of humour and caring heart. He’ll be truly missed.”
Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar said the officers involved were “shaken up”.
“Officer-involved shootings are traumatic enough. Add to this the death of an innocent si-year-old, and it’s that much more troubling,” he said.
The officers who opened fire have all been placed on administrative leave.
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“Preliminarily, I can tell you it appears as if policies were complied with,” Sheriff Salazar added.
“Right now, what I’m dealing with is a tragic accident that led to the death of this young man.”
Ms Jones, the suspected car thief, was killed after the officers opened fire but no weapon was located near her body. Instead a dark coloured pipe was found.
Witnesses who had seen her on the day claimed she had threatened to shoot them.