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Boy Brandishing Pistol Replica Killed by Cleveland Officer

November 24, 2014  | 

VIDEO: Boy Brandishing Pistol Replica Killed by Cleveland Officer

A 12-year-old boy has been shot dead by police in Cleveland after brandishing what turned out to be a replica gun.

Tamir Rice died from his wounds on Sunday, a day after officers responded to an emergency call about someone waving a “probably fake” gun in a playground.

Deputy Chief Ed Tomba said one officer fired twice after the boy pulled the fake weapon — which was lacking the orange safety indicator usually found on the muzzle — from his waistband but had not pointed it at police, Huffington Post reports.

ABC 5 Cleveland reports the officers were not told the age of the suspect or the fact the caller said the gun might be fake.

In dispatch audio recorded between 3:24 p.m. and 3:34 p.m., the dispatcher never told officers that the gun may be fake or that the suspect was a juvenile.

“I’ve got a code 1, if anybody can break at Cudell. In the park by the youth center, there’s supposed to be a male sitting on the swings, pointing a gun at people," said a dispatcher in recordings obtained by

Comments (31)

Displaying 1 - 31 of 31

LLC @ 11/24/2014 3:19 PM

A sad incident, but whether or not the dispatcher informed responding officers that the suspect was a juvenile holding a replica pistol or BB gun, the outcome was likely to be the same. It was the actions of the 12 year old that got him shot and unfortunately dead. Yes, a 12 year old can " lift up his shirt, display what appears to a firearm, and grab the allege weapon with his hand" all while the officer screams put your hands up! There is video of the incident and that video will justify the use of deadly force.

Capt. Crunch @ 11/24/2014 3:54 PM

For a 12 year old he should have known better. Sounds like he was a thug in training.

kevCopAz @ 11/24/2014 3:54 PM

Very sad, but I agree what dispatch tell the responding officers is very rarely 100% accurate as we all know, besides what if it was real and the cop was killed? Sadly the young man made the choice, either he was very stupid, wanted to be shot or heaven forbid mentally challenged. Either way I feel for the officers but may have done the same thing under the same circumstances.

john @ 11/24/2014 3:59 PM

The officers shouldn't have to wait for the gun to be pointed at them. Any normal kid, with the police pointing guns at them ordering hands in the air would comply and probably have to change their u derwear.
What kid raises his shirt, grabs the gun and refuses to drop it? Well, he did. Tragedy for all. Cops don't go to work and hope they can shoot someone today. But I'm sure they're looking to go home to their families alive. I support the police in this incident!

krisnlc @ 11/24/2014 4:06 PM

Capt. Crunch and KevCopAz..., Are you both for real with this philosophy? While the circumstances right now hopefully and surely will not fault the police officer who unfortunately did this....But a 12 year old is a kid. he was a kid in at a playground...that does not mean he was a "thug in training" or was stupid, or mentally challenged...but probably most really "just a 12 year old kid" do silly and unpredictable things like this. does not make him stupid or a thugh in training...
the officer who did the shooting, is probably feeling horrible... unless he thinks like either of you guys..then he is celebrating! Hopefully NOT!

Kenneth Lord @ 11/24/2014 4:23 PM

Another good reason to ensure these orange devices cannot be removed from the replica/toy guns. Don't expect a 12 year old to march to the sound of our drums.

Dan @ 11/24/2014 4:55 PM

A permanent Orange tip won't help, neither will some stupid congressmens proposal to make the whole gun brightly colored. Idiots will still spray paint them black. I really hope @concerned citizen posts something about this being societies fault for disobeying god then follow that up by mocking scientology. #fingerscrossed.

joe @ 11/24/2014 5:07 PM

This is the best way to get your child shot dead by a cop or another punk kid.. AND when is pellet gun a toy? I would take a dead kid over one of my eyes!!! Any day!!!

antikrisnlc @ 11/24/2014 5:26 PM

I don't normally post anything, but the attitude of krisnlc. Gun safety is gun safety! And if you ignore teaching your "silly and unpredictable" kids this simple reality - even with fake guns, it could lead to this. No way to say if he was a "thug in training", but stupid - you bet. There's no way the officer feels good about what happened; no one would. With so many real kids with real guns shooting up schools, who's the officer that will figure it's a fake gun? Teach your kids that playing with guns, real or fake, is without a doubt, STUPID.

westcoastleo @ 11/24/2014 5:30 PM

Parents? Where were they? Father? Where was he? Many kids have been killed by LEOs over this same thing. Don't anyone think it's about time that the parent who talks to these kids need to tell them about "Not taking a toy gun orange tip or not to an open to the public park or out of the house?"

But now,,, the only cry you will hear is why did the bad cops shoot my baby? Not one of the reporters in the next few weeks will ask, "Did you look after your boy and brief him about toy guns?" The reporters will fan the flames and say that the coppers should have waited a few more seconds and maybe there should be a 1min delay when you roll up on a person with a gun. They will want more training, etc.... Bla, Bla,Bla...

Jeffrey Thomas @ 11/24/2014 5:37 PM

A thug in training is the type of mind set that has no buisness in law enforcement, anytime a life is taken has consequences for both the Officer and the parents of the subject. Now not only does that Officer have to live with the fact he was forced to take a human life but also thatof a child. The parents have to live without their son and will forever have thoughts of what could we have done to prevent this. Reguardless of the call that came over the Officer was faced with a subject pulling a weapon and had a few seconds to make a decision that could mean the differance of him coming home to his family or getting a department funeral. We cannot afford to have Officers second guessing their decisions nor can we in good conscience arm chair quarterback our Officers. Then we need to better educate not only children but their parents on toy guns and the possible dangers involved with them both toy and real.

joe @ 11/24/2014 6:04 PM

Thats a 18 round semi automatic .177 caliber gun that that punk kid was using to intimidate/threatening lives with in a park. yes, less than lethal gun but I would rather take a .22 caliber gun in the leg than a .177 in the eye. His actions are one of that of a terrible person and one less future person in our jail system.

TheRookie @ 11/24/2014 6:34 PM

It's the same philosophy that gets so many up in the air; "To be tried by twelve rather than carried by six." It takes a millisecond of a split-second to make any use-of-force decision & many times it's life saving or life losing. I couldn't have went on-duty everyday for 24 yrs. wondering if I could do my job. I don't know how you all do it today, but hats off to all of you in L.E. Stay safe out there in Battle Land.

TheRookie @ 11/24/2014 6:36 PM

With the previous said I hope the Officer(s) get through this okay. It's always a no-win situation with these incidents.

sam @ 11/24/2014 8:16 PM

it happened again, and you scumbag pigs are supporting the murderers again. Maybe it will slow down when more cops get killed. Your motto is "Kill first ask questions later" and our motto is "a good cop is a dead one".

Capt. Crunch @ 11/24/2014 8:43 PM

@ Krisnic, you are a real POS, if you think I am celebrating. When I was 10 years old I was selling newspapers on the corner in San Francisco. I knew the difference between right and wrong and so did the other kids my age. Don't give this BS that he is just a kid, why is he pointing his gun at other kids? If you think this is just kid stuff then you are a moron.

@ Sam, you are either mentally ill or just a plane asshole thug.

TERRY F. ZECH VAPD RET @ 11/24/2014 9:42 PM

My sincere condolences to the family of the young man that was killed. Why was the orange piece removed from the weapon. Why did he try to pull it from his waist ban which is what police officer consider an aggressive move of force. Which allows the use of deadly force in the continuum. The officer i am sure feels like crap but he had no choice.

plato's playdough @ 11/25/2014 1:24 AM

Playing too much Grand Theft Auto will train your mind to see LEO as enemy combatants. Thug in Training is accurate for these game players.

Maybe they should ban them, too many kids can become insensitised to real life.

LibertyCop @ 11/25/2014 3:09 AM

It's one thing to second guess an officer's decisions, it's quite another to rush to the defense of every cop who kills somebody DESPITE poor decisions.

Since when do we have the right to shoot anyone who has a gun, real or fake? What happened to considering officer/subject factors and special circumstances? The officer was dispatched to a "fake gun" call, involving a 12yo boy, who didn't even point a gun in the direction of the officer. Fear much? Maybe it's time for a new profession. What 12 year old comprehends our arrogant, "Rather be judged by 12" mentality? What 12yo comprehends that a toy gun at a playground can mean death? What 12yo even fully comprehends death? My 11yo plays with fake guns and is incapable of understanding our "Shoot first, qualified immunity later" mentality. I'll refrain from my thoughts on how I'd respond to a LEO who killed my child out of fear, because they selfishly valued their own life more. Hmmm, why are we so hated?

lodall @ 11/25/2014 5:31 AM

...LibertyCop: I actually agree with your opening sentence. We too often criticize others for opining based on partial or inaccurate/biased information, yet we do the same thing when we immediately jump on the proverbial bandwagon and espouse the judged by 12 rhetoric.

Where I take exception to your post though is your hypocrisy. You state that the officer was dispatched to a fake gun call, involving a 12 year old boy: that is simply not true. He was dispatched to a "weapons" call and if he possesses any sense of tactics, he started formulating a response plan while en route. Your need to educate yourself on reaction/response time. If the bad guy is pointing a gun at you, it's already too late to respond before they start to shoot. You are falling into the trained by Hollywood abyss. I recommend that you read research conducted by Force Science, especially concerning reaction times, and you may see this incident in an entirely different light.

Stay safe everyone.

Bernie @ 11/25/2014 7:20 AM

So I'm supposed to "wait" fir him to point the gun at me now? Not gonna happen! I'm going home to my family at the end of my shift. It's not my fault that the kid's parents did a puss poor job of raising him. So many people would criticize the same officer if he would have waited to shoot and the gun would have been real and the shooter would have killed someone before he was taken out. Reality is this is a thankless job and it takes someone special willing to make the tough calls that the common man isn't able or willing to make. Prayers fir the officer and what he must be going through today.

PoPo50 @ 11/25/2014 7:37 AM

Regardless of the circumstances, any decent LEO would recognize the tragedy of the loss of a young life, whether it is at our hands or the gangbanger down the street. I do not wish that on anyone. There is a bigger dialog to be had. We as LEO need to improve our image. The minorities need to realize they are part of the problem not just police. When they ask for help cleaning up their own garbage, we need to extend the olive branch. Until they take some responsibility for their own actions we can not have a dialog. I challenge all LEO's to change their perception of us, remind them how we are there to help, remind them we are not the enemy, remind them this is a partnership. Do something good today. Remember before Off.Wilson defended himself and killed a black man, he went on a call of a baby choking. That is the story, we need to tell. The officer in NYC who gave shoes to homeless man, the Toys for Tots, the pulling a woman out of a burning car etc. etc. etc. Tell those stories.

Deputy Moose @ 11/25/2014 8:55 AM

Al and Jessie are having a busy week.

Captmidnight @ 11/25/2014 10:12 AM

Agrees with Capt Crunch, if the little gang banger wanna-be wasnt up to no good, why was the orange plug removed from the pistol?

Thsi GETO boi, got what he had coming.

We all played cops & robbers as kids, but nobody was stupid enough to challenge the real POPO with a cap pistol.

BOYZ IN DA HOOD, will shoot you just as quick as a grown man, maybe quicker.

My simpathies to both the Officer & the boys family, but he should have been
taught to obey Police commands.

He did not and this is the result.

JELLYDOT @ 11/25/2014 10:49 AM

Wow Captmidnight! Unbelievable how outspoken you are about this situation without having the facts all in yet. And while I'm at it...speaking of facts, the fact is your grammar is terrible, perhaps you should think about getting an education before you try to sound educated!

John Wilson @ 11/25/2014 4:48 PM

Wow, read the whole story and then consider all the facts, instead of headline
"Cop Shot Kid". The officer was dispatched to a male sitting on the swing set with a gun, pointing it at people. The officer arrived, the kid lifts his shirt and reaches for what appears to be a gun. The officer responds to a perceived threat, the child is killed. Afterwards they find out the gun is fake.
In one half to one second you don't have the time to determine if the gun is real or fake and like most of us in a similar situation, you want to go home to your family at the end of shift. This is a tragedy, that will never go away as long as kids think flashing guns (real or fake) is a macho thing. Parents, man up and take charge of your kids. Parents seem to be too busy to know what their kids are doing these days. As for the comment "The only good cop is a dead cop" You gang banger think you are maligned everyday(Sarcastic). Poor parenting is the root cause for kids dying in such a way.

BT @ 11/25/2014 7:22 PM

O.K. guys. Take a step back. Just a few unanswered questioned here. Why was the gun lacking an orange muzzle? Was it removed, painted over, or what? Secondly, who removed it, or painted over it, and why? Third, who taught him to carry it in his waist band, under his shirt? media, movies, watching his family members or relatives? The bottom line here is the word "family". The "family", being parents and siblings, had to know, or have knowledge of "one of the above"! In other words the kid was trained by some outside source. I have, and will always believe in the framework
of "family". "The family works", meaning, watching out for each other, and being positively helpful to each other. To those who loose loved ones because of unnecessary violence brought on by an improper bringing up,
(lack of family) try it sometime!

sam @ 11/25/2014 9:23 PM

capt midnight you must be a racist pig

krisnlc @ 11/26/2014 8:03 AM

To are correct, gun safety is gun safety and should be taught. It is expected and hoped that kids this age will learn it and follow it. However, it does not always happen. Kids are kids, and simply not following those rules does not make them stupid...just makes them unpredictable kids..doing kid behavior.
To Capt. Crunch; i am glad you knew the difference at 10 years old..but not everyone does. If that was so, we would not need police enforcement. I am not faulting the officer who did the shooting, maybe if I was in the same circumstance it might have been the same outcome?! But even now when I come across a kid on a call, i take extra precautions, while staying alert, I try to do what i can to descalate the situation first...and to date i have not walked up on any kid (this does not include teenagers) with my gun drawn ready to take him out. perhaps true the kid alledgedly went for the gun in his waist band... but kids do point guns at each other in play.

CaptMidnight @ 11/26/2014 8:19 AM

@ Sam, Bite me !
@ JELLYDOT go for it sport, but you would have to put down the jelly doughnut and quit hanging around cops.
You must be another wanna-be washout from some academy that was too tough for you.

The little turd got squished before he could grow up to rob, rape, commit burglary, or become the neighborhood drug dealer.

Dan Lemon @ 12/1/2014 3:44 PM

Q: What kind of idiot parent let the kid outside in a public place with a gun that looks like a customized 1911?
Q. What kind of idiot parent lets the kid cover up the orange warning paint on the barrel?
Q. What kind of idiot Monday morning quarterbacks ignore the fact that this pistol is incredibly realistic?
Q. What kind of idiot Monday morning quarterbacks argue in effect, that the officers should have let the kid pop some rounds before deciding whether to shoot or not?

Q: Is this a case where the parent(s) should be charged with child endangerment, or do those laws not apply to idiot parents?

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