Detectives believe 12-year-old’s death caused by unintentional discharge  

The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station on Golden Valley Road.
The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station on Golden Valley Road.

An official with the L.A. County Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau reported Wednesday that a 12-year-old boy found dead in Sand Canyon on Nov. 6 was believed to have died as the result of an unintentional discharge of a handgun, according to a witness. 

Willians Lemus Ayala, 12, of Santa Clarita, was found dead on the side of a remote stretch of Sand Canyon Road, more than a mile south of Placerita Canyon Road. 

Lt. Arturo Spencer, who supervised the detectives investigating the case, indicated he was not releasing any details regarding the circumstances, as officials still have to present a case to the L.A. County District Attorney’s Office. 

Medical examiners with the L.A. County Coroner’s Office reported Ayala died as the result of a gunshot to the head. 

“Investigators were able to locate another minor … and based on the investigator’s follow-up investigation, it appears that this minor … and the victim were up in the Canyon Country area with a gun messing around with it,” said Spencer, “and it appears as though the gun was unintentionally discharged as they were messing around with the gun.” 

L.A. County Fire Department personnel were dispatched to the location where the boy’s body was found, near Mile Marker 6.27, at 6:33 a.m., according to Geovanni Sanchez of the L.A. County Fire Department. 

Spencer said he would not be releasing any information about the juvenile suspect. 

Detectives initially suspected the shooting might be tied to criminal activity based on the preliminary information, but that was ruled out once they located the second juvenile who was believed to be with the teen at the time of the shooting. 

Based on the circumstances of the incident, Spencer said investigators were still planning to present a case to the DA’s office regarding the unintentional discharge of the firearm that led to a death. 

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