The fatal police shooting of a 13-year-old Columbus boy who officers said pulled a BB gun from his waistband that looked like a real weapon will be investigated thoroughly to determine if charges are warranted, reports the Associated Press. In a killing with echoes of Cleveland’s Tamir Rice case, a Columbus officer responding to a report of a $10 armed robbery shot a young boy Wednesday night after he pulled out a BB gun that looked “practically identical” to the weapon that police officers use, authorities said.
Evidence from the shooting will be presented to a grand jury to determine whether the officer’s actions were justified. Mayor Andrew Ginther appeared to choke up as he called for the community to come together and questioned why an eighth-grader would have a replica of a police firearm. “There is something wrong in this country, and it is bringing its epidemic to our city streets,” Ginther said yesterday. “And a 13-year-old is dead in the city of Columbus because of our obsession with guns and violence.” Dozens attended a vigil Thursday night near the shooting, including members of Tyre King’s youth football team. Some carried signs calling for justice for Tyre, while candles spelled out “RIP Tyre King.” The police officer in the shooting, Bryan Mason, shot and killed a man who was holding another person at gunpoint in 2012, but was cleared of wrongdoing.