Police responding to a report of an armed robbery late Wednesday in Columbus, Ohio shot and killed a 13-year-old boy after officers said he pulled a weapon from his waistband that was later found to be a BB gun.
The Ohio police department said in a statement on its Facebook page that officers investigating a reported robbery in east Columbus around 7:45 p.m. were told by a male victim that a group of people approached him and demanded money. One of them, he told officers, had a gun.
Officers said they were attempting to speak with three people matching the descriptions of the male suspects when two of them fled on foot.
“Officers followed the males to the alley … and attempted to take them into custody when one suspect pulled a gun from his waistband. One officer shot and struck the suspect multiple times,”the police statement said.
The boy, identified as 13-year-old Tyree King, was taken to the Nationwide Children’s Hospital in a critical condition and was later pronounced dead, according to the police statement.
Police said the gun, found at the scene, was later determined to be a BB gun with an attached laser sight.
A local resident, Chris Naderer, told the Columbus Dispatch that he heard someone knock down a gate in his backyard and looked out to see an officer chasing two young men into an alley. He says he then heard three to five gunshots from the alley, the newspaper reported.
The male suspect with King at the time was interviewed and released pending further investigation. Police were searching for the third suspect in the robbery.