Cops Kill Boy, 12, Carrying 'Airsoft' Toy Gun in Cleveland
Cleveland police shot and killed a 12-year-old boy who was allegedly carrying an "airsoft" toy gun at a recreation center, police said. The 12-year-old was shot in the torso and went into surgery Saturday. He died Sunday morning, police said. Two officers were placed on administrative leave.
Police said the officers were responding to a report of a person waving a gun around at a playground at the Cudell Recreation Center at around 3:30 p.m. Saturday. The boy was shot after he allegedly refused to put his hands up and reached in his waistband for what appeared to be a handgun, police said.
A man who called 911 told dispatchers before police arrived that the boy was on a swing set and pointing a pistol that was "probably fake" and scaring everyone. "I don't know if it's real or not," the caller said. Jeff Follmer, president of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association, said the officers were not told the caller thought the gun might be fake.
Police said the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office and police are investigating the shooting.
Attorney Timothy Kucharski said the boy went to the park with friends Saturday afternoon, but he did not know the details of what led to the shooting.
"I don't want to make a rush to judgment," he said. He said he wants to talk to witnesses and get more facts. "We're ultimately going to find out what happened," Kucharski said.