News / Society / Crime

Cleveland Police Fatally Shoot 12 Year Old Boy Carrying BB Gun: Juvenile Died From Being Shot In The Stomach; Two Officers Involved Are Now On Administrative Leave [PHOTO]

By Marisa Lewis | November 23, 2014 05:26 PM EST

This past Saturday, Cleveland Police fatally shot a 12-year-old boy in the stomach after seeing him wield what turned out to be a replica gun. According to USA Today, someone called 911 saying that a juvenile was "scaring" people with a gun that was likely fake. However, none of this information was relayed to the police.

The call was made for the playground area of the Cudell Recreation Center at about 3:30 PM. Think Progress reports that two officers arrived on the scene and asked the boy to raise his hands in surrender, but shot him once in the stomach when the boy appeared to be reaching for his gun instead. Immediately afterwards, the boy was taken to the MetroHealth Medical Center, and was rushed into surgery. However, due to stomach complications, he died on Sunday.

Upon further investigation, the gun the boy was carrying was found to be an "airsoft"-type replica gun, which is a BB gun that resembles a semi-automatic pistol. The orange safety had been scratched off. During the run-in with the police, there was no verbal confrontation of any sort, and the boy did not threaten the police offers nor point the gun towards them.

In response to the tragic accident, Deputy Chief of Field Operations Ed Tomba stated that the incident was "very, very tragic." He continued, "We don't come to work everyday and want to use force on anybody... That's not what our job is. We're part of this community."

As of now, both officers - one of whom is a rookie in his first year on the force - have been placed on administrative leave, according to protocol. Think Progress reports that this is definitely not the first shooting related to a toy or fake gun - in July 2013, 13-year-old Andy Lopez was fatally shot for carrying a BB gun mistaken for an assault rifle. His BB gun was also missing the orange plastic plug that was supposed to identify it as a toy.

The police force at the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office is currently investigating further into the shooting.

Tagged :  Cleveland Police, BB gun, shooting, Cudell Recreation Center, MetroHealth Medical Center, Andy Lopez


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