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September 19, 2007
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Off-duty D.C. officer fatally shoots teen

Associated Press

WASHINGTON — An off-duty police officer investigating a burglary at his home killed a 14-year-old boy in a shootout when he tried to confront the teen about a stolen minibike, authorities said Tuesday.

The 22-year veteran was not in uniform and was in his personal car when he drove up to the teen, who was on the bike, not far from where it had been stolen earlier Monday, Police Chief Cathy Lanier said.

The officer did not have a chance to identify himself before the teen fired at him, hitting the officer's car. The officer returned fire, striking the boy in the head, the chief said.

Deonte Rawlings, 14, was taken to Children's Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, authorities said.

It is not standard procedure for a police officer to investigate a break-in of his own home. The officer, who was not identified, was placed on routine administrative leave, Lanier said. It was not clear whether he notified authorities that he and a fellow officer were investigating the burglary while off duty.

The gun the officers said the boy used was not recovered because the scene was chaotic and someone might have picked it up, Lanier said.

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