The teenager, named as Andy Lopez, was reportedly repeatedly ordered to drop the ‘weapon’ when confronted by sheriff’s deputies in Santa Rosa, California, in the US.
But when he failed to respond police opened fire, and the plastic gun was not discovered until they put handcuffs on his unresponsive body and he was pronounced dead.
Rodrigo Lopez told Press Democrat of Santa Rosa that the victim was his son.
Speaking in Spanish from the doorway of his mobile home, he said he had last seen Andy when he left for work on Tuesday.
‘I told him what I tell him every day: Behave yourself,’ he said.
Andy’s mother Sujey Annel Cruz Cazarez added: ‘Why did they kill him? Why?’
Lieutenant Dennis O’Leary said the deputies involved had been placed on administrative leave.