A 12-year-old boy wielding a BB gun who was shot by a Cleveland police officer at an area recreational center on Saturday afternoon died from his injuries on Sunday morning, according to the hospital. Police responded to a call reporting a man with a gun outside the rec center on Saturday afternoon. The caller told the police dispatchers the gun was “probably fake,” and that the boy was “probably a juvenile,” but that information was never passed on to the police officers arriving at the scene.
Here’s how the police described the events leading up to the fatal shooting by the officer via the Cleveland Plain Dealer:
A rookie officer and a 10-15 year veteran pulled into the parking lot and saw a few people sitting underneath a pavilion next to the center. The rookie officer saw a black gun sitting on the table, and he saw the boy pick up the gun and put it in his waistband, Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association President Jeffrey Follmer said. The officer got out of the car and told the boy to put his hands up. The boy reached into his waistband, pulled out the gun and the rookie officer fired two shots, Tomba said. Tomba said the child did not threaten the officer verbally or physically. At least one of the shots hit the child in the stomach. He was rushed to MetroHealth Medical Center in serious condition.
“The department's Use of Deadly Force Investigation Team is investigating the shooting,” the Plain Dealer reports. “Detectives recovered the weapon, which turned out to be a BB gun with the orange safety marker scratched off, police said.” The Cleveland police said in a statement the BB gun resembled a semi-automatic pistol.