Cops shoot a boy, responding to a “shooter” at a Cleveland rec center. However, the boy’s gun turned out to be a fake. Cops found a pre-teen boy armed with a replica pistol, first reported as a pellet gun, and despite the caller to 911 telling the dispatcher that the pistol was possibly fake or simply a BB-gun, the officers used deadly force against this boy. When the boy refused to drop the weapon, an officer shot him in the gut. The young black boy, only 12 years old, was hospitalized after being shot Saturday afternoon and has since died.
Writes Cleveland.com on Nov. 22: “The shooting took place about 3:30 p.m. at the Cudell Recreation Center near Detroit Avenue and West Boulevard. The boy was taken to MetroHealth Medical Center in serious condition.”
The boy was armed with a replica pistol. The pistol closely resembles a bullet-shooting firearm. However, the boy’s mother, Samaria Rice, said the caller to 911 explained to the dispatcher that the weapon was “probably a fake.” Fox8 News out of Cleveland carried audio of the 911 call.
“I’m sitting in the park…there’s a guy in here with a pistol, and it’s probably a fake one, but he’s pointing it at everybody,” the caller is heard saying. “The guy keeps pulling it in and out…it’s probably fake, but he’s scaring the s*** out of people.” The caller also explained on the phone that the guy is “probably a juvenile.”
Despite that explanation, Cleveland Deputy Chief Ed Tomba said his officers advised the boy to remove the gun from his waistband and then toss the weapon aside. The boy evidently removed the weapon, but did not toss it aside, and one of the officers fired two rounds, hitting him once in the stomach. However, police said the boy never raised his weapon in a threatening manner. Tomba also confirmed that the boy did not verbally threaten the officers.
“The young man had the weapon in his waistband. He pulled the weapon out. One of our officers fired two shots, striking the young man,” Tomba said, adding that some replica guns are supposed to have a clearly visible orange plastic marker on the barrel. This one did not.
Adds KCTV.5.com: “According to Rice, they live across the street from the rec center. She says two young men came to her residence to say her son was shot. When she ran over to the scene, police would not let her through. Rice says police told her the boy had a gun and that he was shot by police. However, Rice says her son did not have access to a gun in the home. She says if he did get a gun, it would have had to have come from a friend or someone on the street.”
Information has yet to be revealed as to what made these two officers fire. Additional details will be posted once released. The Cleveland community where this occurred is on outrage over the actions of this “trigger happy” policeman, who has been placed on paid leave. In the meantime, sound off below on the cop’s actions over a fake gun at this Cleveland rec center.
Update: According to the Washington Post within the hour, the boy has been identified as Tamir Rice. The Post, citing Deputy Tomba, said the “boy did not make any verbal threats but grabbed the replica handgun after being told to raise his hands, Tomba said.” Another new detail per the Post: “Jeff Follmer, president of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association, said the officers were not told the caller thought the gun might be fake.”