A police officer in Battle Creek, Mich., allegedly shot 14-year-old Nicholas King on Saturday afternoon for carrying a fake gun. The boy is recovering from his wound, which has been described as non-life-threatening.
The incident occurred outside of a local convenience store. Someone called the police to report a man with a gun lurking around the premises. The teen was crouched down when law enforcement arrived, and was ordered to show his hands.
Upon showing his hands, the boy revealed what looked like a semi-automatic handgun. The officer fired a single shot at the boy, who then fled. The police chased him down and requested medical help to treat him.
The bullet hit the boy’s shoulder; according to mother Patricia Nelson, the shot came close to hitting a major artery.
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The boy’s weapon turned out to be an air pistol that had been painted black to resemble a real gun.
Battle Creek Deputy Chief of Police James Saylor commented on the incident, saying, "When a police officer's dealing with you, they most likely are dealing with information not from the individual they're dealing with, but dealing with information that is based on the observation of others. Obviously, when we're dealing with something like a gun, for our business, is a gun regardless of what it's actually capable of doing."
According to Nelson, her son was simply playing with three female friends, and meant no harm. She said that he only went inside the store to use the bathroom, and stayed outside the remainder of the time.
Said Nelson, "My son's got blood going into him, because he's lost a lot of blood. He's got breathing tubes down his throat, and they're breathing for him. They had to put him to sleep. I want this police station to be investigated, badly. This is ridiculous how badly police officers treat us."
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The shooting officer is currently on paid administrative leave as the department conducts an investigation of the incident.