Santa Cruz deputy on leave after shooting 15-year-old on LSD

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A teenage stabbing suspect, who was fatally shot by a Santa Cruz County sheriff's deputy, had taken LSD. (KGO-TV)

A teenage stabbing suspect, who was fatally shot by a Santa Cruz County sheriff's deputy, had taken LSD.

Investigators showed video of what their body cameras recorded the night of the shooting.

Luke Smith, 15, took LSD with a friend late Friday. He started having adverse effects and turned hostile and violent. The Watsonville teenager stabbed his father and uncle at their house.

The deputy who fired his weapon has been put on leave and a review board will examine this case. Body camera footage shows a deputy using a Taser, sponge rounds and a K9 officer on the teenager before finally opening fire. His devastated family says he bought tainted drugs that triggered a violent reaction.

"They started shouting, 'sir drop the knife,'" said witness Alex Santana Jr.

Santana Jr. watched from his window as Santa Cruz County Sheriff's deputies tried to diffuse the situation. Body camera video shows the officers using non lethal force six times with little to no impact.

"It didn't seem like the first two blanks that were shot worked because he was stunned, but he continued to withstand and not drop the knife," said Santana Jr.

Finally a K9 was released and Luke raised his knife and was shot. The sheriff's department arrested the drug dealers who sold Smith the LSD.

Flowers now line the fence along Pioneer Road. Smith attended Aptos High School. Counselors and emotional psychologists were on campus.

"We're going into all the classrooms to help support students and teachers," said superintendent Michelle Rodriguez. "And we will continue to provide the support that is necessary as the students are coming forward.

Friends have set up a GoFundMe site to raise money for the family.
Related Topics:
newsofficer involved shootingcrimedrugdrug buststabbingofficer-involved shootingcaliforniaWatsonville
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