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Protesters block streets after off-duty LAPD officer fires gun during fight with teenagers

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(NBC) -

Video surfaced Wednesday of a fight in Anaheim between at least two teenage boys and an off-duty Los Angeles police officer who fired a gun during the scuffle.

Meanwhile, hundreds of people protested outside the officer's home before taking to streets of Anaheim. As of early Thursday, 24 people were arrested, six of them juveniles, on suspicion of misdemeanor charges for failing to disperse, resisting arrest and battery on a peace officer, according to Anaheim police.

The officer is on administrative leave, according to the Los Angeles Police Department, whose Force Investigation Division is investigating the shooting and will review all video of the incident.

Two of the boys were arrested and released to their parents, according to Anaheim police.

Officers responded about 2:40 p.m. Tuesday to a report of a fight between a man and several boys and learned en route that the man was an off-duty LAPD officer who had "discharged his firearm and was detaining at least one of the juveniles," said Anaheim police Sgt. Daron Wyatt of the Anaheim Police Department, which is also investigating.

The video of the conflict has generated a great deal of interest. Wyatt said it "picks up several houses down from where the initial contact was made." 

For several months, the officer has been dealing with local teens walking across his lawn, Wyatt said.

"Yesterday, he sees the kids walking on the lawn and he says, 'Hey, guys, please walk on the sidewalk,'" Wyatt said.

That prompted a chorus of epithets from some of the juveniles, Wyatt said.

What's in dispute is what a 13-year-old said to the officer. The officer said he moved to detain the teen because he allegedly said he would shoot the officer, Wyatt said.

At some point, another boy, a 15-year-old, barreled into the two over some bushes, knocking the officer down.

The officer held on to the 13-year-old and as he was getting up other onlookers appear to converge on the officer in a menacing fashion but then they scamper away in fear when a shot rings out.

The 15-year-old told reporters, "I just saw a guy just holding a little kid, so I just wanted to help the kid out. So I tried to help him, move them apart." 

The LAPD officer has been reassigned to a desk job, which is routine in an officer-involved shooting.

The 15-year-old was arrested Tuesday night on suspicion of misdemeanor battery and assault and then released to his parents, Wyatt said.

The 13-year-old was arrested on suspicion of making criminal threats and was released to his parents Wednesday, Wyatt said.

Anaheim police are planning a news conference for Thursday to provide an update on the investigation, Wyatt said.

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