Boy, 12, shot by police dies; name released

CLEVELAND -- Tamir Rice was standing in the park outside Cudell Recreation Center in Cleveland Saturday, holding what police call an "airsoft"-type replica gun resembling a semi-automatic pistol.

Police shot Rice after he reached into his waistband for the gun.

Feelings of both angry and shocked, friends and family brought posters, candles and teddy bears to the area Sunday.

Police came out to the park after someone called 911 about a kid waving around a gun.

"He's sitting on the swing and keeps pulling it in and out of his pants, and pointing it at people. He's probably a juvenile, you know," said the 911 caller.

COP CAM: Who's recording, who isn't?

Police asked him to raise his hands. When he didn't and reached towards his waistband, they shot him in the chest.

He passed away Sunday morning at MetroHealth Medical Center.

"I went to church today and I said a prayer for him and, as soon as I come home, he's dead," said Kerby Williams, who lives nearby. "It makes me mad I'm pissed off I can't be angry at the cop because he came in with only half the story."

Half the story, because the officer didn't realize the gun was fake.

"The officer had no clue he is a 12-year-old," said Jeff Fullmer, president of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association. "He had no clue it was a toy gun, he was kind of shocked. He was concentrating more on the hands than on the age. It's not go shoot a 12-year-old with a good fake gun. It's not that scenario at all. This is a compassionate officer."

Friends of the family now are asking why the officer did not either use a taser or shoot Tamir in the legs.

"We are not coming to a male with the gun with our tasers out; we're coming to a man with a gun with shotguns or rifles out," said Follmer. "You shoot someone in the leg and that's a real gun they're going to fire another 10 rounds at you."

The family's attorney however says they are not going to just rely on what the police say. "We are going to conduct our own investigation," said attorney for Tamir Rice's family Tim Kucharski. "We are going to talk to witnesses. We will get all the 911 tapes, the radio dispatch records as to what was said to the police, what the officers knew and then after we have conducted a thorough investigation we will make a determination after talking with the family with what we will proceed with legally at that point."

There were two officers on the scene at the time of the shooting Saturday afternoon.

Both are on administrative leave.


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