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A 15-year-old emotionally disturbed girl was shot dead by police in The Florida Keys early Monday after she pointed a stolen gun at deputies, law enforcement officials say.

The deadly incident occurred at around 5:20 a.m. when the girl allegedly took the stolen gun, broke off an attached gun lock and walked to a remote location on Stock Island, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement. Stock Island is located to the east of Key West.

She pointed the weapon at herself and then at deputies who then fired at her, killing the teen, police said. 

A Monroe County Sheriffs Office cruiser

Stock Island is located to the east of Key West. (Monroe County Sheriffs Office)

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“This incident is a tragedy for everyone involved,” Sheriff Rick Ramsay said in a statement.  “While the deputy appears to have acted in self-defense, I have asked the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to conduct an independent investigation to ensure transparency.”

Ramsay told Local 10 News that deputies were “begging” the girl to put the gun down as she pointed the gun at herself. She then pointed it at deputies, he said, and a sergeant opened fire.

A witness described what he heard during the encounter in an interview with Local 10 News.

police crime scene

The Sheriff’s Office says it immediately called for rescue and rendered aid. The girl was pronounced dead at Lower Keys Medical Center.  (iStock)

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“They were telling her to ‘put the gun down,’ ‘put the gun down,’ quite a few times,” the witness, who did not want to be identified, said. “Then about eight minutes later than that, all the shots rang out.”

The witness said he believed the girl fired the gun once before deputies arrived.

The Sheriff’s Office says it immediately called for rescue and rendered aid. The girl was pronounced dead at Lower Keys Medical Center. 

Stock Island on Google Maps

Stock Island Google Maps (Google Maps)

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Her name has not yet been revealed. It is unclear from where she allegedly stole the gun. 

The Florida Keys are a coral cay archipelago off the southern coast of Florida, which form the southernmost part of the continental United States.

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