Police in Columbus, Ohio, were investigating how a 13-year-old boy wanted for questioning Wednesday night in an armed robbery ended up fatally shot by an officer.
The child — later identified by Columbus police as Tyre King — had “pulled a gun from his waistband” when officers attempted to take him and another male into custody, the Columbus Division of Police said in a statement. As the encounter unfolded, an officer shot King “multiple times.”
The weapon recovered from the scene was determined to be a BB gun with an attached laser sight, Columbus Police Chief Kim Jacobs said at a news conference Thursday morning. She showed a replica image of that BB gun.
“Our officers carry a gun that looks practically identical to this weapon,” said Jacobs, adding, “It turns out not to be a firearm, but as you can see, it looks like a firearm that can kill you.”
Police were first called to a report of a group of people — including one armed with a gun — demanding money at 7:42 p.m. ET.
“This man just had a gun on this white dude on the street!” a caller told a 911 dispatcher, according to audio released by police. The caller said the armed robber was a “black boy in a hoodie” and “the guys just took off running,” according to the audio.
A person on the call identified as the victim of the robbery said the alleged holdup was over $10. He said he was unhurt. He said the gun looked like a Ruger 1911-style handgun, according to the audio.
Officers arriving at the scene saw three people matching the suspects’ descriptions around a block away. However, when they attempted to speak with them, two of the males ran away, police said in a statement.
“Officers followed the males to the alley … and attempted to take them into custody when one suspect pulled a gun from his waistband,” police added. “One officer shot and struck the suspect multiple times.”