The death of Leonard Falcon is an event that happened on April 9, 1987. The event was where Leonard Joseph Falcon, a 19-year old teenager, was accidentally shot dead by a deputy sheriff with a 12-gauge shotgun while playing Lazer Tag with three friends.
An unidentified deputy sheriff was called to Central Elementary School at 10pm on a Tuesday, after reports from a passer-by spotting "reported armed prowlers".
A department spokesman, Jim Bryant, said 19-year-old Leonard Joseph Falcon, "jumped out from the dark and posed in a shooting stance, pointing a gun (a StarLyte pistol) at the deputy."
With the deputy seeing a flash from the barrel of the StarLyte pistol aimed at him, the deputy racked a shell into his 12-gauge shotgun and fired at Falcon.
After the first blast, Falcon fired his StarLyte pistol a second time; the deputy fired a second time as well.
He did not have time to reveal himself as a sheriff, though.
With Falcon on the ground, the sheriff picked up the "gun" that Falcon had held, which was revealed to be "a toy laser gun made of plastic", referring to the Starlyte he had held.
Detectives said they did not know what prompted the man to leap from the darkness and then level and apparently "fire" his plastic gun at the uniformed officer.
Falcon was taken by ambulance to a hospital three miles away, where he was pronounced dead at 10:58 p.m. Phil Alexander, chief deputy coroner, said an autopsy Wednesday placed the cause of death as shotgun wounds to the chest and abdomen. It was not immediately known if Falcon had been struck by one or both of the blasts from the deputy's shotgun.
Because of this incident, the second Lazer Tag weapon, both the Starlyte (pistol) and StarLyte Pro (rifle) were switched from being molded from black plastic to white (although few white Starlyte pistols were produced before the company folded) to avoid any types of this mishap happening again.