Authorities said Thursday that a 13-year-old boy was shot and killed by a police officer who was responding to a report of an armed robbery after the boy pulled out a BB gun that looked “practically identical” to a police weapon.
Family lawyers have said that the police “version of events has yet to be confirmed by independent witnesses.”
It’s been pointed out that the officer was white and the boy was black, so this case is being compared to Tamir Rice’s 2014 fatal shooting in Cleveland. Rice was 12 years old. Columbus police have only just begun their investigation, but they’re already saying that there are significant distinctions between the Cleveland case and the shooting of Tyre King on Wednesday night.
Sgt. Rich Weiner, a spokesman for the Columbus, Ohio, police department, said, “The only things similar in nature are age, race, and outcome.” The facts are different.
The Columbus Dispatch reports that a 911 transcript shows several young men approached a man in the street on Wednesday, one of them armed with a gun, and demanded money. The hapless victim forked over ten dollars.
Police looking into the report Authorities said they spotted three men Wednesday afternoon east of downtown Columbus who matched the suspects’ description. When police approached them, two of them fled.
The police gave chase and attempted to apprehend the pair as they fled into an adjacent alley. After Tyre allegedly produced a firearm, an officer opened fire, striking the boy multiple times.
Tyre was taken to a children’s hospital, where he later passed away.
After investigating the scene, police realised the boy had been using a BB gun with a laser sight.