Ohio teen with BB gun killed, po­lice say

Baltimore Sun - - NATION - By Kantele Franko and Ann Sanner

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A black boy. A white Ohio po­lice of­fi­cer. A pellet gun that looked like a real weapon. And a deadly shoot­ing.

A Columbus of­fi­cer re­spond­ing to a re­port of a $10 armed rob­bery shot a 13year-old boy Wed­nes­day night af­ter the teen pulled a BB gun from his waist­band that looked “prac­ti­cally iden­ti­cal” to the weapon po­lice use, au­thor­i­ties say.

On the morn­ing af­ter Tyre King’s death, Mayor An­drew Ginther ap­peared to choke up as he ques­tioned why an eighth­grader would have a replica of a po­lice firearm.

“There is some­thing wrong in this coun­try, and it is bring­ing its epi­demic to our city streets,” he said. “And a 13-year-old is dead in the city of Columbus be­cause of our ob­ses­sion with guns and vi­o­lence.”

While the case is un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion, po­lice and city au­thor­i­ties re­jected com­par­isons to the 2014 killing of 12-year-old Tamir Rice in Cleve­land.

Columbus of­fi­cers in­ves­ti­gat­ing a rob­bery re­port Wed­nes­day spot­ted three males who matched a de­scrip­tion of the sus­pects, au­thor­i­ties said. Two males ran when of­fi­cers tried to speak with them.

Po­lice chased the pair into an al­ley and Tyre pulled out a gun with a laser sight, and an of­fi­cer fired, hit­ting the boy re­peat­edly, po­lice said. Tyre died at a hospi­tal.

The of­fi­cer was identi- fied as Bryan Ma­son, a nine-year vet­eran of the force.

In Tamir’s case, a 911 caller re­ported some­one point­ing a gun at peo­ple near a recre­ation cen­ter. An of­fi­cer shot the boy af­ter pulling up in his cruiser. The of­fi­cer and his part­ner were cleared of wrong­do­ing.

The 911 caller had said the per­son with the gun was prob­a­bly a ju­ve­nile and the weapon was prob­a­bly fake, but that in­for­ma­tion was never passed on to of­fi­cers. Po­lice Chief Kim Ja­cobs on Thurs­day dis­plays a pho­to­graph of a BB gun like the one eighth-grader Tyre King had.

FRED SQUILLANTE/THE COLUMBUS DIS­PATCH

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