According to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, the boy, Armando Garcia-Muro, an incoming high school senior died on Thursday after being shot in the chest.
The teenager was caught in the gunfire as two sheriff’s deputies opened fire on the attacking animal.
"My nephew was trying to save the dog because the cops started shooting at the dog, he put his life on the line for an animal that wasn't even his" the teenager’s aunt, Amber Alcantar said.
Authorities said Garcia-Muro was likely caught in the crosshairs of ricocheting bullets. The deputies were responding to complaint calls of loud music at about 3:50 a.m., when they were met at the residence by an aggressive pit bull.
The sheriff’s office said the roughly 65-pound dog charged at the deputies and bit one on his left knee. Garcia-Muro appeared, corralled the dog and took it to the back of the apartment complex as the deputies moved to the street to focus on the injured officer. The pit bull then came running from the back of the residence, prompting a pair of deputies to open fire on it from up to seven feet away.
After the shooting, authorities found Garcia-Muro suffering from a gunshot wound to the chest near the back of the complex. He later died at a hospital.