Tyree King, 13 years old, was gunned down by Columbus police, who were called to the scene for a reported armed robbery. Ohio police mistook King for that suspect when the young boy pulled out a BB gun that looked like an actual firearm. A full-scale investigation is ongoing.
The tragic incident, which happened Wednesday night, began when local police were called to respond to a reported armed robbery. According to authorities, the officers were briefed about a group of people, including one with a gun, who demanded money at about 7:42 p.m. ET.
Upon arriving at the scene, officers saw three people who appeared to match the descriptions of the armed robbery report. When the authorities approached the group, two, including the 13-year-old Tyree King, immediately ran. The police gave chase.
The two were eventually cornered in an alley, but instead of surrendering, King took out something from his waistband. The item looked like a handgun.
It was then that the police opened fire. The shots struck the King multiple times. King was eventually taken to a local medical facility, where he later succumbed to his wounds.
"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 said in a statement.
As the officers inspected the teenager, however, they realized that the item King was holding was not a real handgun at all, but a BB gun with a laser scope.
The man who ran with King was apprehended by police, but he was also later released. No other person was injured in the incident.
According to the Columbus Division of Police, the officers involved in the deadly, tragic incident would be receiving "mandated psychological support counseling" and be given the option to "take leave time to assist in recovery from a traumatic experience."
The deadly Columbus incident comes in the midst of emerging tensions in the United States concerning police officers and their seemingly over-aggressive handling of situations. If any, Wednesday's incident once more highlights the dangers of having officers whose fingers are far too heavy on the trigger themselves.