Ohio boy, 13, who pulled out BB gun, fatally shot by police

Ohio boy, 13, who pulled out BB gun, fatally shot by police
Andrew Welsh-Huggins & Ann Sanner, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
First posted: Thursday, September 15, 2016 08:50 AM EDT | Updated: Thursday, September 15, 2016 02:08 PM EDT
COLUMBUS, Ohio — An officer responding to a reported armed robbery shot and killed a 13-year-old boy during a chase when the teen pulled from his waistband a BB gun that looked “practically identical” to a police weapon, authorities said Thursday.
Because the officer was white and the boy black, the case has brought inevitable comparisons with the 2014 fatal shooting in Cleveland of 12-year-old Tamir Rice. Columbus police are early in their investigation but say the differences in the Wednesday night shooting of Tyree King and the Cleveland case are stark.
“The only thing similar in nature is the age, race and outcome,” said Columbus police spokesman Sgt. Rich Weiner. “The facts are not similar, and that must be reiterated.”
Officers investigating the armed robbery report on Wednesday spotted three males east of downtown Columbus who matched the description of the suspects, authorities said. Two of them ran away when officers tried to speak with them.
The police chased the pair into a nearby alley and tried to take them into custody. That’s when Tyree pulled out a gun, and one officer fired his weapon, hitting the boy repeatedly, police said.
Tyree died at a children’s hospital. Authorities identified the officer who fired as a nine-year veteran of the force named Bryan Mason.
At a news conference Thursday, Police Chief Kim Jacobs displayed a photo of what she called a “replica” of the BB gun that Tyree had.
“Our officers carry a gun that looks practically identical to this weapon,” she said. “As you can see, it looks like a firearm that could kill you.”
Mason has been placed on administrative leave while the shooting is investigated, per department protocol, Jacobs said.
An attorney for Tyree’s family called for a fair and independent investigation into the boy’s death.
Sean Walton declined to discuss any previous interaction Tyree had with police, but he emphasized that Tyree didn’t have any violent criminal history. He said the family believed that Tyree being involved in an armed robbery would be “so out of character” for him.
Tyree played football and was in the young scholars program at school, Walton said. The boy also had a slight build and, if anything, was on the small side for his age, the attorney said.
Authorities said it wasn’t clear if the shooting was caught on surveillance or cellphone video. Columbus police don’t use body cameras.
Mayor Andrew Ginther appeared to choke up as he called for the community to come together to help ensure children remain safe. He questioned why an eighth-grader would have a replica of a police firearm.
“There is something wrong in this country, and it is bringing its epidemic to our city streets,” Ginther said. “And a 13-year-old is dead in the city of Columbus because of our obsession with guns and violence.”
Neighbourhood resident Chris Naderer said he was home at the time and heard someone break fencing in his backyard, then saw an officer chasing two young black men and heard several gunshots.
“I just think it was bad circumstances that he had a gun,” Naderer said.
Police reviewing evidence from the scene determined the boy’s firearm was actually a BB gun with an attached laser sight.
The male who had been with Tyree was interviewed and released pending further investigation, police said. They provided no further information about him.
Police said additional suspects were being sought as the shooting and reported robbery remained under investigation.
The police chief said it was too soon to draw comparisons between Tyree’s death and the Tamir Rice case.
There was no chase in Tamir’s case. A caller reported someone pointing a gun at people near a recreation centre, and a rookie officer shot Tamir almost immediately after his police cruiser stopped nearby. The caller had said the person was likely a juvenile and the weapon was probably fake, but the call taker never passed that information to the dispatcher of the responding officers.
In that case, the grand jury concluded that the officer and his partner reasonably believed that it was a real gun and that their lives were in danger, prosecutors said.
It was “indisputable” that the boy was drawing the pistol from his waistband when he was shot, Tim McGinty, Cuyahoga County prosecutor, said at the time. He said Tamir was trying to either hand the weapon over to police or show them it wasn’t real, but the patrolmen had no way of knowing that.
Associated Press reporters Kantele Franko in Columbus and Mark Gillispie in Cleveland contributed to this report.
Ohio boy, 13, who pulled out BB gun, fatally shot by police | World | News | Tor
Tough, dangerous job. Feared for his life. Did what he had to do. Blue lives matter. Keeping us safe (from 13-year-olds with BB guns).
Kid deserves a Darwin award for that stunt. And who puts laser sights on a BB gun?
#4  Top Rated Post
Kid pulls out a gun when being chased by the police. Is anyone surprised by the outcome? If so, they shouldn't be.
The parents should be shot with the same bb gun.
Private review finds Ohio boy carrying BB gun shot 3 times
Ann Sanner And Kantele Franko, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
First posted: Tuesday, September 20, 2016 12:40 AM EDT | Updated: Tuesday, September 20, 2016 12:46 AM EDT
COLUMBUS, Ohio — The 13-year-old boy fatally shot by Columbus police last week was struck three times, according to findings by a medical examiner hired by the teen’s family to evaluate the body.
Police have said Tyre King was shot multiple times after he ran from an officer investigating a reported armed robbery and pulled out a BB gun that looked like a real firearm. The official findings of the county coroner have yet to be released.
Dr. Francisco Diaz, a medical examiner from Michigan, conducted the two-hour review of Tyre’s body on Sunday on behalf of the boy’s family.
Diaz said he did not conduct an autopsy, but was hired to do an independent review of the gunshot wounds.
“I just evaluated, took measurements and made notations as to the characteristics of the wounds,” Diaz told The Associated Press. Diaz, a medical examiner in Michigan’s Wayne County and forensic pathologist at the University of Michigan, determined Tyre was shot three times.
Police cannot comment on Diaz’s examination pending the release of the official coroner’s report, said police spokesman, Sgt. Rich Weiner. The investigation is ongoing.
The coroner in Franklin County, home to Columbus, has said Tyre’s autopsy was complete but she has not yet released details, including where he was shot. Dr. Anahi Ortiz did not immediately respond to an email request for comment about Diaz’s findings.
Also on Monday, more than 100 demonstrators gathered outside Columbus City Hall to call for an independent investigation into the shooting and urge police to spend more on violence-prevention programs.
“I can only hope and wish that they take the time to understand that our children cannot keep dying, at the hands of anyone — whether it’s police (or) regular street violence. Something has to be done,” said Stacey Little, a 31-year-old Columbus resident and a member of the group People’s Justice Project.
Tyre’s relatives also want an independent investigation.
“We appreciate the support in the quest to find the truth here,” family attorney Sean Walton said of the demonstration.
Authorities say the police investigation will be presented for a grand jury to decide whether charges are merited against Bryan Mason, the officer who shot the teenager. The head of the local police union says Mason did what he had to do in that situation.
Mason met or exceeded standards in a performance evaluation from May, according to records AP obtained Monday through a public records request. The evaluation notes that Mason maintains composure under stress and demonstrates “exceptional verbal skills” in defusing “potentially hostile situations.”
Witnesses reported that a group of people — one witness suggested there were seven or eight — robbed a man of $10 at gunpoint Wednesday night east of downtown Columbus. Authorities say officers investigating the report spotted several males who matched the description of the suspects and tried to talk to them, and that Tyre and another robbery suspect ran.
That other suspect, Demetrius Braxton, told The Columbus Dispatch that he was with Tyre on Wednesday night and that the boy wanted to rob someone for money and had a BB gun that looked like a real firearm.
Braxton was interviewed then and released without charges, but he was arrested on a robbery charge Saturday afternoon near the Ohio State University campus, Columbus police said.
Braxton, 19, was to appear in court on Monday, but his defence attorney questioned the release of his client’s juvenile records and successfully requested that a judge waive his initial court appearance. Braxton remained held without bond. Another hearing is set for Sept. 27.
Defence attorney Marcus Ross declined further comment about Braxton after Monday’s hearing.
Police have said they’re still looking for others who may have been with Braxton on the night Tyre was killed.
Braxton told the newspaper that he ran away with Tyre, and police told them to get down. He said they did, but then Tyre got up and ran and was shot.
Columbus police have refused to comment on how Braxton’s recollection compares with officers’ accounts.
Juvenile records show Braxton got probation in a case of attempted rape after a judge issued the juvenile-court equivalent of a conviction in 2011.
Demonstrator Ciara Humphrey, right, holds a sign during a rally for Tyre King, the 13-year-old Ohio boy who was fatally shot by Columbus police, Monday, Sept. 19, 2016, outside City Hall in Columbus, Ohio. King was shot after being confronted by police investigating a robbery. Police claim King had a BB gun that looked like a real firearm. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Private review finds Ohio boy carrying BB gun shot 3 times | World | News | Toro
Act like a thug, die like a thug.