Cleveland Police Officer Shoots, Kills Child Carrying A Toy Gun

Lauren Burgoon
Nov. 23, 2014: 12-year-old Tamir E. Rice died after a rookie cop shot him.

Update: The 12-year-old boy, identified as Tamir E. Rice, died Sunday from his injuries.


Despite a 911 call warning a male carrying a gun that was "probably fake," a Cleveland police officer shot a 12-year-old outside a recreation center Saturday. 

"There's a guy with a pistol, and it's probably fake," the 911 caller said. "But he's pointing it everybody."

Police arrived and saw the boy take the gun – which was actually a BB gun – from a table and put it in his pants waistband. The boy tried to remove the BB gun when an officer told him to put his hands up.

The officer shot the 12-year-old twice. One bullet hit his stomach, and the boy was rushed to the hospital in critical condition.

RELATED: Police Kill A Wal-Mart Shopper After Eyewitness Lies About Him Brandishing A Gun

The 911 caller also warned authorities the male was likely a juvenile, according to The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer, and the boy didn't threaten officers verbally or physically. But the Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association president said officers never heard information from the 911 call about the boy's age or the tip the gun was likely fake.

"Besides we have to assume every gun is real," Jeff Follmer told The Plain Dealer. "When we don't, that's the day we don't go home."

The police officer involved is a rookie. 

Authorities launched an investigation into the shooting immediately, they said. 

RELATED: Here’s What Young Black Men Said Before They Were Murdered By Police

The shooting comes when much of the country is on edge about the grand jury decision in Ferguson, Missouri. The grand jury will decide whether to formally charge Officer Darren Wilson with fatally shooting unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown, a killing that set off weeks of increasingly violent protests in Ferguson.

The National Guard is already deployed in Ferguson ahead of the expected decision, and activists around the country have promised widespread protests if Wilson isn't indicted.

RELATED: There Is Some Good Coming Out Of The Ferguson Protests