(Via Newsy) – Officials in Cleveland say a young boy is dead after officers mistook a BB gun for a real firearm and opened fire on the boy. Medical officials confirmed 12-year-old Tamir Rice died Sunday morning at a local hospital after fatal gunshot wounds to his torso.
WEWS reports Cleveland police responded to a 911 call Saturday. The unnamed caller said people were scared as the boy wielded the gun at an outdoor rec center but also said he thought the gun was fake.
“The guy keeps pulling it in and out of his pants. It’s probably fake, but you know what? He’s scaring the s— out of people. … I don’t know if it’s real or not,” a 911 caller told police.
Police say they ordered Rice to put his hands up but he allegedly refused to do so and reached to pull out the gun, so they opened fire.
“The officers ordered him to stop and to show his hands and he went into his waistband and pulled out the weapon. One of our officers fired two shots striking the young man,” Deputy Chief of the Cleveland Police Department Ed Tomba told WDTN.