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Boy, 14, Shot and Killed by Police

September 6, 2002 GMT

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) _ A 14-year-old boy who said he was possessed by demons went to church for help but was fatally shot by police after pointing what turned out to be a BB gun at officers, authorities said.

Dominic Montoya came to Taylor Ranch Baptist Church looking for prayer, said minister of education Cindy Harrison.

``He said he had been having some struggles all the way up through town and that he was possessed by demons and wanted prayer and needed help,″ Harrison told The Albuquerque Tribune. ``He looked very troubled.″

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Harrison said the choir director’s wife sat down and prayed with Montoya, but then noticed he had a gun. She got the attention of her husband, who was in the church’s worship center with their two young children, and he called police.

Detective Jeff Arbogast said when officers arrived, Montoya pointed a BB gun at them and was shot twice in the abdomen. Police said he had earlier threatened his mother, neighbors and church members with the same gun.

``His mindset is really unclear,″ Arbogast said. ``We’re trying to understand why he did what he did.″

Police had been called earlier by Montoya’s mother, who told them she and her 3-year-old child had fled their home after Montoya pointed a BB gun at her and threatened her, Arbogast said.

Officers went to the home, where neighbors told them Montoya had entered their homes, threatened them with a gun and left.

About an hour later, police received a call from the church about a teenager with a gun. Arbogast said the officers did not know it was the same boy involved in the earlier threats.

Montoya’s mother, Bridget Montoya, said she initially thought the gun might be real, but later realized it was not, and she told that to police.

``I told them he just had a BB gun,″ she told the Albuquerque Journal. ``With all of their radios, how could they not know who he was? They killed my son. The people I called for help killed him.″

Three officers were placed on paid leave for three days, standard procedure after shootings involving police, Arbogast said.