A 15-year-old autistic boy was shot and killed in a confrontation with police in Southern California, according to a recent report. 

San Bernardino sheriff deputies shot and killed Ryan Gainer, a 15-year-old boy, on March 9,” ABC7 reported. 

“He had been acting out that afternoon and a family member called 911,” according to the outlet.

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“Guess who had to tell her sister that her baby was dead? I did,” the boy’s aunt, Sheila Silver, said. 

The family is considering suing the county, per the report. 

Activists in Oakland, California, held a demonstration on Sunday in response to the shooting and called for police to stop being dispatched for calls related to mental health. 

“We are calling for us to decriminalize mental health care, right? We are calling to decriminalize autism. Because people are neurodivergent it is not a death sentence,” activist James Burch told reporters. 

“Anyone coming into Oakland interested in public safety, what they need to know is how we keep us safe here in the city,” Burch said. “How we invest in programs that are life-giving, affirmative. That treat people with respect and dignity.”

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Oakland, California skyline

Tuan Hall, a mother who lost her son Miles in 2019 after he experienced a mental health episode and was killed by police, believes that trained mental health experts should be called for mental health emergencies and not police. 

“When something is a medical condition, which is autism and mental health, we shouldn’t rely on police to come and be the first responders,” Hall said.

She compared Gainer’s death with her son, Miles. 

“It was very similar to Miles. Miles had a garden tool” that she said he believed was a “staff from God.” 

“He was in a mental health emergency, so was Ryan. Ryan was autistic. All he needed was help,” she added. 

The San Bernadino Police Department did not respond to a request for comment from Fox News Digital. 

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