(BALTIMORE) — A 13-year-old boy shot by Baltimore police Wednesday was holding “what looked like a firearm,” police said.
Two police officers in Baltimore saw the teen with what they thought was a semi-automatic gun, according to the Baltimore Police Department. After the officers identified themselves, the boy allegedly took off running, never dropping the apparent weapon, Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said Wednesday.
One of the officers then shot the 13-year-old. He sustained non-life-threatening injuries and will survive, Davis said. The police officer and the 13-year-old have not been identified.
The boy’s mother told police that he left the house with a BB gun in his hand, Davis said, describing it as a “dead-on ringer” for a semi-automatic pistol.
The police commissioner said that gun arrests are up by 60 percent so far this year in Baltimore and that the police department is “tasked with identifying people who pose a threat” to the community.
“No police officer in Baltimore wants to shoot a 13-year-old,” he said.
Davis said it’s common for people to arm themselves with “replica handguns” for the purpose of committing crimes.
“He had every opportunity to drop the gun,” Davis said of the 13-year-old. “He had every opportunity to stop, put his hands in the air … and follow the instructions of a police officer.”
Davis could not comment on how many shots were fired by the police officer.
The shooting comes a little more than a year after the anniversary of the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old who died a week after he fell into a coma while being transported by a police van in Baltimore.
The investigation is ongoing, Davis said.
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