(COLUMBUS, Ohio) — As authorities investigate an officer’s shooting of a 13-year-old boy who fled the scene of an alleged armed robbery in Columbus, Ohio, the city’s mayor called the death “troubling” and asked for “patience,” saying an investigation “takes time.”
The young victim — identified as Tyree King — pulled what looked like handgun from his waistband as officers pursued him and two other robbery suspects Wednesday night. The officer shot and struck Tyree multiple times. The boy was rushed to a hospital and pronounced dead that night, police told ABC affiliate WSYX. The weapon has since been determined to be a BB gun.
Columbus Chief of Police Kim Jacobs Thursday morning called the shooting a “tragedy,” saying that after all the evidence is gathered, the investigation will be turned over to the prosecutor’s office, which will present it to a grand jury to determine if criminal charges should be filed.
Mayor Andrew Ginther called the teen’s death “troubling.” The eighth-grader had nearly an exact replica of a police firearm and was involved in “very dangerous conduct,” added the mayor. He said this should be a “call to action” for the community to help keep neighborhoods safe.
Anyone with information about shooting is urged to contact police, said Ginther, adding, “I ask for everyone’s patience” as an investigation “takes time.”
The shooting happened Wednesday night, when an alleged robbery victim told officers that a group of individuals had approached him, one of them brandishing a gun, and demanded money, a police statement said.
Officers responded to the scene on Hoffman Street, where they said they saw three males matching the victim’s description of the suspects and approached them, prompting two of the males to flee on foot.
The officers followed the males to a nearby alley and attempted to take them into custody, when one suspect pulled what looked like a handgun from his waistband, the police statement said.
“Detectives processed the shooting scene and collected what appeared to be a handgun,” the statement continued. “Upon further inspection, it was determined to be a BB gun with an attached laser sight.”
The officers and other suspects were not injured.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone involved,” Ginther said Thursday.
Jacobs said the officer involved has been placed on administrative leave for one week. He will see a psychologist before returning to work, she said.
“I will not let an officer out on the street … if I don’t trust them,” she added.
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