A cop shot a boy who had a fake gun with him at a rec center and the boy has died from that gunshot wound today, a day after the shooting took place. It was Saturday when police were called to the rec center by witnesses reporting a kid brandishing a gun on a playground, according to an article by the Washington Post, updated on Nov. 23.
Cops arrived to the Cleveland Rec Center and confronted the boy outside of the building. The 12-year-old boy was told to raise his hands, but instead he went for a gun which he had tucked in the waistband of his pants, according to the Canada Journal on Nov. 23.
The airsoft gun was a fake gun and it couldn’t have hurt the cop, but he had no way of knowing this. The gun looked real, it was big and not something that resembled a kid’s toy. The cop shot twice, hitting the boy once in the abdomen.
The New York Times reports today that the boy, Tamir E. Rice, died Sunday at MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland. The Cuyahoga County medical examiner’s office released the news of his death. The Times reports that he was shot in the torso at a park on Saturday. Police were told by witnesses that he was waving a gun around and pointing it at people.
The boy’s mother reports today that her son who, was originally reported to be in critical, but stable condition, underwent surgery and took a turn for the worse with his condition deteriorating to critical overnight on Saturday. The Washington Post reports that Rice died sometime on Sunday from the gunshot wound in Saturday’s tragic incident.
The cops answered a call after the witnesses stated that the young kid was brandishing a gun on the playground with other children around. The calls reported he was pointing the gun at people and it sounded like police were walking into a scene with people in danger.
This could have been an even more horrific situation if the child did indeed have a real gun, which would have put all the children on the playground in danger. Children with guns have been responsible for too many killings seen in the headlines in recent years and the cop needed to make a split second decision as to where this was going.
The police learned that the child was carrying a fake gun after the shooting. A spokesperson for the Division of Police in Cleveland, Jennifer Ciaccia, reports that the investigators recovered a replica gun, it looked like a semiautomatic pistol. “It looks really, really, real, and it’s huge.
As with any case of this type, both officers were placed on administrative duty until the investigation is complete. Where does the responsibility lie here? Why was the child running around with a gun that so closely resembled the real thing that it caused the police to be called and when they arrived, even they couldn’t distinguish the difference? If they had realized it was a fake gun they wouldn’t have raised their guns to take a shot at a 12-year-old.
Do parents have some responsibility for allowing a kid of this age to walk around with a replica gun tucked in his waistband? Of all places this child brandished the gun, it was on a childrens’ playground, which meant young kids were in danger if the gun was real. With all the recent school shootings fresh in the American minds, stopping another event that results in children being shot had to be first and foremost on the cop’s mind.
This sad case is a reminder of how playtime of yesteryear is gone when it comes to kids and guns. Too many incidents of kids with guns have taken place that have resulted in death, heartache and tragedy.
Is anyone really to blame here? The child is only 12 and even though he ignored the officer’s command to “raise your hands,” he is still only 12. When the cop saw what he believed to be a real gun, you can’t say that he felt there was no chance the child would use it. Too many children have used guns today to say that’s an unlikely scenario.
This sad situation should look to where this child acquired this gun and whose responsibility it was to make sure it wasn’t used anywhere but home if it was part of a game or toy gun. This was one incident were a gun, toy or not, shouldn’t have been in the hands of a child on the playground. If it wasn’t there, probably none of this would have ever happened.