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STOCKTON, Calif.—Stockton police say a teenager who was fatally shot by officers had escaped from juvenile hall, where he was being held on suspicion of robbery, conspiracy and torture.

James Rivera died on Thursday after two officers and a sheriff’s deputy fired on his van. The 16-year-old was suspected of having stolen the vehicle at gunpoint a day earlier.

Police spokesman Pete Smith says officers opened fire when they believed the van was moving back toward them as they approached it on foot. Police had rammed the vehicle following a chase.

About 20 people protested the shooting as unjustified outside police headquarters on Friday. Rivera’s family says he did not steal the van, but bought it.

The shooting is under investigation.

Police say Rivera escaped from juvenile hall last spring.


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