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12-year-old killed in officer involved shooting at Cleveland rec center

Sunday November 23, 2014    2:31 PM

CLEVELAND, Ohio - The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner has identified the 12-year-old boy as Tamir E. Rice.

MetroHealth Medical Center confirmed that Tamir died as a result of his injuries. Samaria Rice, Tamir's mother, has obtained an attorney, who from this point will be speaking as the family's representative.

Tamir, 12, was shot twice by a Cleveland police officer. Tamir had a BB gun. Police responded to a 911 call that someone, possibly a juvenile, was aiming a gun and waving it around at the park. The caller said the gun could be fake.

The shooting happened around 3:30 p.m. at Cudell Rec Center located at 1910 West Boulevard. The facility has been taped off while units investigate, including the Cleveland Division of Police Use of Deadly Force Investigation Team.

In a recording released by officials, a 911 caller can be heard saying: "There's a guy with a pistol…you know, it's probably fake but he's pointing it at everybody.

"I don't know if it's real or not."

The 911 responder twice asked whether the boy was black or white before dispatching officers. Cleveland Police say officers responded to a radio assignment outside of the rec center for a male with a gun. Preliminary information reveals that witnesses reported a male was in the playground area of the center, waving a gun and pointing it at people.

Police say when officers arrived, they located the suspect and advised him to raise his hands. However, the suspect did not comply with the officers' orders and reached to his waistband for the gun. Shots were fired and the suspect was struck in the torso.

"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," said Deputy Chief Ed Tomba with Cleveland Police.

Tomba said the boy did not make any verbal threats towards police, and there was no confrontation. The boy did not point the gun at officers.

Further information from police reveals the weapon was an "airsoft" type replica gun, resembling a semi-automatic pistol, with the orange safety indicator removed.

According to police, one officer was transported to Fairview Hospital for treatment of an ankle injury.

Tamir's father, Gregory Henderson, told local newspaper the Cleveland Plain Dealer that his son was a "respectful" young man and said the police should have tasered him instead of using live ammunition if they felt threatened.

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.She says she still does not understand why her son was shot.


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