Christian Alberto Sierra, Purcellville teenager threatening suicide, shot, killed by police

(WJLA) - A memorial for Christian Sierra now sits where the 17-year-old lost his life – an event that leaves friends asking why.

Christian was at Jared Mingo’s house on Saturday afternoon when things took a dark turn at around 2 p.m. Police got a call about a 17-year-old threatening suicide, and according to Virginia State Police, a Purcellville Police Department officer arrived and approached Christian – now about a block from the home.

Investigators say Christian lunged at the officer with a knife, and then the officer shot at Christian, who later died at the hospital.

"Christian was a very kind and generous person," says one friend. "He wasn't the type of person that would do this type of thing."

"Always a happy and positive kid...really hurts that he's not here anymore and we won't get to see him at school anymore," adds another.

Christian was a junior at Loudoun Valley High in Purcellville, and a member of the wrestling team with plenty of friends. According to a friend, he was in a bad place, and in need of some help.

Classmate and friend Emily Carpenter says that in the last month, Christian’s upbeat mood changed, and he stopped socializing. Now, people can’t stop wondering what could have been done to help – especially his family.

The officer involved in the shooting was not injured, and state police will not say how many shots were fired. But in Purcellville, the investigation is only part of the aftermath, as local residents urge that more attention be paid to prevention.

Friends at Loudoun Valley High say Christian loved tie-dye. On Tuesday at school, students will wear tie-dye in honor of Christian, and grief counselors will also be on-hand to help students cope with this very difficult situation.

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