Police chief: Teenager with replica gun shot by Los Angeles police wanted to die

LOS ANGELES, Oct 6 (Reuters) - A 16-year-old boy killed in a weekend police shooting in Los Angeles that generated protests left a farewell note and confronted police with a replica handgun to end his own life, the city's police chief said on Thursday.

The Hispanic teenager, who died on Sunday in an encounter on a street in South Los Angeles, was initially described by police as an adult man.

He has since been identified as Daniel Perez, Los Angeles County Coroner's Office Lieutenant David Smith said in a phone interview. Perez died of multiple gunshot wounds, Smith said.

The shooting of Perez came the day after the police shooting in Los Angeles of an 18-year-old black man, Carnell Snell Jr., who police said was armed with a loaded handgun.

Both shootings generated protests in Los Angeles.

They followed a number of police shootings of black men that have touched off larger demonstrations and intensified a national debate over racial bias and excessive force in U.S. law enforcement.

Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said Perez called an emergency dispatcher on Sunday to report a man with a gun and gave a description that matched himself. He also left a farewell note for his family, Beck told a news conference.

Perez later confronted an officer who arrived at the scene, the police chief said.

"We believe that this officer-involved shooting was a result of his desire to end his own life," Beck told reporters.

"We are deeply saddened by these events and my heart goes out to his family as well as to the officer involved in the shooting," Beck added.

Beck said earlier in the week that Perez aimed the replica handgun at the officer, according to local media reports at the time.

The replica handgun was made to look more real, because its orange tip was painted black, Los Angeles police spokeswoman Norma Eisenman said earlier this week.

Federal law requires imitation firearms to have an orange tip to distinguish them from real guns. California lawmakers in 2014, following the shooting death by police of another teenager with an imitation firearm, passed a law to require even more visible markings for certain replica guns.

The officer who shot Perez to death had a body-worn camera and the footage confirmed the officer's version of the encounter, Beck said. But he said he would not release the video.

RELATED: Protests erupt after the killing of Keith Lamont Scott

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Protests in Charlotte after police kill Keith Lamont Scott
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Protests in Charlotte after police kill Keith Lamont Scott
CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 21: Police officers face off with protestors on the I-85 (Interstate 85) during protests following the death of a man shot by a police officer on September 21, 2016 in Charlotte, NC. The protests began the previous night following the fatal shooting of 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott at an apartment complex near UNC Charlotte. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 21: People block traffic on the I-85 (Interstate 85) during protests following the death of a man shot by a police officer on September 21, 2016 in Charlotte, NC. The protests began the previous night following the fatal shooting of 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott at an apartment complex near UNC Charlotte. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 21: A police officer in riot gear walks past a fire on the I-85 (Interstate 85) during protests following the death of a man shot by a police officer on September 21, 2016 in Charlotte, NC. The protests began the previous night following the fatal shooting of 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott at an apartment complex near UNC Charlotte. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 21: Police officers face off with protestors on the I-85 (Interstate 85) during protests following the death of a man shot by a police officer on September 21, 2016 in Charlotte, NC. The protests began the previous night following the fatal shooting of 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott at an apartment complex near UNC Charlotte. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
CMPD officers stand in a haze of tear gas on Old Concord Rd. on Tuesday night, Sept. 20, 2016 in Charlotte, N.C. The protest began on Old Concord Road at Bonnie Lane, where a Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer fatally shot a man in the parking lot of The Village at College Downs apartment complex Tuesday afternoon. The man who died was identified late Tuesday as Keith Scott, 43, and the officer who fired the fatal shot was CMPD Officer Brentley Vinson. (Jeff Siner/Charlotte Observer/TNS via Getty Images)
Protestors surround a CMPD vehicle on Old Concord Rd. on Tuesday night, Sept. 20, 2016 in Charlotte, N.C. The protest began on Old Concord Road at Bonnie Lane, where a Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer fatally shot a man in the parking lot of The Village at College Downs apartment complex Tuesday afternoon. The man who died was identified late Tuesday as Keith Scott, 43, and the officer who fired the fatal shot was CMPD Officer Brentley Vinson. (Jeff Siner/Charlotte Observer/TNS via Getty Images)
A protestor holds a sign showing a book and a gun on Old Concord Rd. on Tuesday night, Sept. 20, 2016 in Charlotte, N.C. A protest began on Old Concord Road at Bonnie Lane, where a Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer fatally shot a man in the parking lot of The Village at College Downs apartment complex Tuesday afternoon. The man who died was identified late Tuesday as Keith Scott, 43 and the officer who fired the fatal shot was CMPD Officer Brentley Vinson. Earlier a woman who said she is Scott's daughter claimed on a live-streamed video on Facebook that Scott was unarmed when he was shot. In the video, the woman said her father was sitting in his car reading a book and waiting for the school bus to drop off his son. She claimed that her father was tasered and then shot four times, and that he was disabled. (Jeff Siner/Charlotte Observer/TNS via Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 21: Police officers face off with protestors on the I-85 (Interstate 85) during protests following the death of a man shot by a police officer on September 21, 2016 in Charlotte, NC. The protests began the previous night following the fatal shooting of 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott at an apartment complex near UNC Charlotte. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 21: A police officer attempts to extinguish a fire on the I-85 (Interstate 85) during protests following the death of a man shot by a police officer on September 21, 2016 in Charlotte, NC. The protests began the previous night following the fatal shooting of 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott at an apartment complex near UNC Charlotte. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
Police officers wearing riot gear block a road during protests after police fatally shot Keith Lamont Scott in the parking lot of an apartment complex in Charlotte, North Carolina, U.S. September 20, 2016. REUTERS/Adam Rhew/Charlotte Magazine MANDATORY CREDIT
CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 21: A police helicopter illuminates protestors blocking traffic on the I-85 (Interstate 85) during protests following the death of a man shot by a police officer on September 21, 2016 in Charlotte, NC. The protests began the previous night following the fatal shooting of 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott at an apartment complex near UNC Charlotte. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 21: Police officers hold their line on the I-85 (Interstate 85) during protests following the death of a man shot by a police officer on September 21, 2016 in Charlotte, NC. The protests began the previous night following the fatal shooting of 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott at an apartment complex near UNC Charlotte. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 21: People block traffic on the I-85 (Interstate 85) during protests following the death of a man shot by a police officer on September 21, 2016 in Charlotte, NC. The protests began the previous night following the fatal shooting of 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott at an apartment complex near UNC Charlotte. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 21: A police officer stands guard near a fire on the I-85 (Interstate 85) during protests following the death of a man shot by a police officer on September 21, 2016 in Charlotte, NC. The protests began the previous night following the fatal shooting of 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott at an apartment complex near UNC Charlotte. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 21: Protestors run from a gas canister after blocking traffic on the I-85 (Interstate 85) during protests following the death of a man shot by a police officer on September 21, 2016 in Charlotte, NC. The protests began the previous night following the fatal shooting of 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott at an apartment complex near UNC Charlotte. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 21: Protestors block traffic on the I-85 (Interstate 85) during protests of an officer-involved fatal shooting September 20, 2016 in Charlotte, NC. The protests began the previous night following the fatal shooting of 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott at an apartment complex near UNC Charlotte. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
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(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Peter Cooney)


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