Tamir Rice’s father asked why Cleveland police officers fatally shot his 12-year-old son Saturday instead of using a stun gun to subdue him when they said he pulled what turned out to be a BB gun from his waistband, reports the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Gregory Henderson said Tamir was a “respectful” young man who minded his elders, and he couldn’t comprehend that his son would not follow police orders. A caller told police “a guy with a gun was pointing it at people” on the swing set in a park outside a recreation Center. The caller said twice that the gun was “probably fake,” but said the person was scaring people.
Police dispatchers radioed to officers that there was “a male with a gun threatening people” outside the rec center. They responded and saw the boy pick up what they thought was a black gun, tuck it in his waistband and take a few steps. Officers drew their weapons and told the boy to raise his hands. Instead, he lifted his shirt and reached for the handle of the gun sticking out of his waistband. He pulled out the gun, and an officer opened fire, shooting twice, hitting him at least once in the abdomen. Police later determined the gun was actually a BB gun, with the orange safety cap removed.