A 12-year-old boy in Cleveland has died after being shot by police when he pulled a BB gun from his waistband.
When the boy reportedly began waving the BB gun around in a playground at the Cuddell Recreation Center on Saturday afternoon, people around him became increasingly nervous. The boy then allegedly began to point the gun at people, which prompted one man to call 911.
“I’m sitting in the park…there’s a guy in here with a pistol,” the man told the 911 dispatcher. “It’s probably a fake one, but he’s pointing it at everybody.”
According to the Daily Mail, the man told the dispatcher that the boy kept “pulling it in and out” and that the gun was “probably fake, but he’s scaring the s*** out of people.”
When police arrived, they reportedly spotted the boy putting the BB gun in his waistband. After ordering him to put his hands up, the boy pulled the pistol from his waistband, leading an officer to fire two shots at the unnamed young man.
“When an officer gives a command, we expect it to be followed," Deputy Chief of Field Operations Ed Tomba told Cleveland.com. “The way it looks like right now, it wasn't followed, but we're going to continue our investigation." According to reports, at least one of the shots hit the boy in the stomach.
The boy was rushed to MetroHealth Medical Center, where he was reported to be in critical condition as of Saturday night. 19 Action News reported early Sunday morning that the boy had succumbed to his injuries following emergency surgery after the incident occurred.
The Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s office is now leading an on going investigation into what exactly happened. The two officers who shot the boy will reportedly be placed on administrative leave, as is protocol with shooting incidents.
The boy’s mother told local reporters that her son did not obtain the gun from her home.