SANDY -- A Sandy teen was in extremely critical condition Tuesday after shooting himself in the head after a convenience store sales clerk refused to sell him cigarettes.

The boy, 15, whose name has not been released, was taken by medical hospital to University Hospital, where he was in intensive care, Sandy Police Sgt. Kevin Thacker said.A clerk from the Sinclair gas station, 9387 S. 1300 East, reported having a verbal disagreement with the boy about 10:40 p.m. because the boy could not present identification to prove he was old enough to purchase cigarettes. When the boy left the store angry, the clerk called police.

While on the phone to police dispatchers, the clerk said he heard gunshots, Thacker said.

Officer John Coyle saw the boy crossing 9400 South and attempted to stop him. The boy refused and continued to walk east, shouting at Coyle to leave him alone.

Just west of the 1400 East and 9400 South intersection, Coyle stopped his car and approached the boy, all the while telling him to stop and talk with him.

The boy then turned toward Coyle, raising a .22-caliber rifle at Coyle as he turned, Thacker said.

Coyle ducked behind his patrol car for cover, asking the boy to put the gun down. The boy had stopped responding verbally to Coyle, Thacker said.

He then pointed the gun at himself and fired.

"It's a tragedy," Thacker said. "We wish that something could have been done so the outcome would have been different."

Police later discovered the car owned by the gas station clerk had been pelted with at least six bullets, believed to be from the boy's gun. The clerk told police he didn't see a weapon when the boy entered the store, Thacker said.