An officer-involved shooting in Columbus, Ohio, yesterday (September 14) left a 13-year-old boy dead.
A Columbus Division of Police officer shot and killed Tyre* King after responding to a report of armed robbery. Per the department’s public information office, officers approached three people who they say matched the robbery victim’s description. Two of them ran away, and one of the runners—King—allegedly pulled what officers thought was a gun from his waistband. One officer shot him several times, and he later died at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
The department says the Crime Scene Search Unit later discovered that the boy was carrying a BB gun with a laser sight—not a deadly weapon. The other person who ran with King was interviewed and released and the department says it is looking for additional suspects in the robbery. The shooting is being investigated internally by the Critical Incident Response Team, and the results of that investigation will be evaluated by the Columbus Division of Police Firearms/Police-Involved Death Review Board.
OFFICER-INVOLVED SHOOTING: Armed robbery suspect fatally shot after pulling gun while police tried to make arrest. pic.twitter.com/03oiR38B8f
— Columbus Ohio Police (@ColumbusPolice) September 15, 2016
Many people are drawing parallels between King and Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old Black boy who was killed in November 2014 by Cleveland police officer Timothy Loehmann while playing with a toy gun.
— Brittany Packnett (@MsPackyetti) September 15, 2016
Remember the police said Tamir Rice was waving a BB gun, then pointed it at them before he was shot, until we saw the video #TyreeKing
— Jasiri X (@jasiri_x) September 15, 2016
And some think there might be more to the story:
— Dawud Walid (@DawudWalid) September 15, 2016
— DJ Sapien (@DJ_Sapien) September 15, 2016
Meanwhile, some people thing the boy deserved to die for carrying the fake gun and allegedly committng a crime:
What dark times we live in where young boys can no longer commit armed robbery & aim guns at officers. Effing white supremacy #TyreeKing
— Steven Crowder (@scrowder) September 15, 2016
Maybe those asking why cops shot #TyreeKing shld be asking why we have a culture where a 13 y/o commits armed robbery, points weapon at cops
— None Of The Above (@BonkPolitics) September 15, 2016
And still others hopped on Twitter to remind the world of what they view as hypocrisy as well as White people who pointed real guns at officers and lived:
So its OK for open carry assault rifles, but #TyreeKing with a BB gun is just too much for cops to handle. He was just a boy with a toy.
— David Leins (@DavidLeins) September 15, 2016
— ChuckModi (@ChuckModi1) September 15, 2016
*Article has been updated to reflect correct spelling of the victim’s name; the Columbus Division of Police reported it incorrectly.