US deputy shoots boy carrying toy

A boy playing "cops and robbers" with a toy handgun has been shot and wounded by a Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy, officials say.

The boy was shot last night in Palmdale, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) north of downtown Los Angeles. Deputy Jeff Gordon says the boy was in a stable condition in hospital and is expected to survive.

His age and identity were not immediately released.

Gordon says deputies were responding to reports that someone was riding a bicycle and brandishing a handgun. They spotted the rider and ordered him to drop the weapon but instead, Gordon says he pointed it at the deputies.

One deputy fired a shot and hit the boy in the upper body.