Accessibility links

Breaking News

Police in Ohio City Pledge Thorough Probe of Black Teen's Shooting

Columbus, Ohio, Police Chief Kim Jacobs holds up a photo showing the type of BB gun that police say a 13-year-old boy pulled from his waistband just before he was shot and killed by police investigating an armed robbery report, Sept. 15, 2016. Police say the boy, Tyre King, died at a hospital after the Wednesday evening shooting.

Officials in Columbus, Ohio, are promising a thorough investigation into Wednesday's shooting death of a 13-year-old African-American by a white policeman.

The veteran officer shot and killed Tyre King after chasing robbery suspects when Tyre allegedly pulled a BB gun out of his waistband.

Columbus Police Chief Kim Jacobs held up a picture of the kind of gun Tyre had and said it looked like a "firearm that could kill you. ... Our officers carry a gun that looks practically identical to the weapon."

Columbus, Ohio
Columbus, Ohio

Officers wanted to talk to three young black men who fit the description of three suspects allegedly involved in an armed robbery when two of the men ran away.

Police cornered them in an alley when Tyre allegedly pulled out a gun. Officer Bryan Mason fired at least four bullets into the teenager. He later died at a hospital. Mason is on leave while the shooting is investigated.

Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther struggled to hold back tears Thursday as he talked about the shooting.

"There is something wrong in this country, and it is bringing its epidemic to our city streets," he said. "And a 13-year-old boy is dead in the city of Columbus because of our obsession with guns and violence."

The Columbus shooting is reminiscent of a 2014 killing in another Ohio city, Cleveland, in which a white officer shot Tamir Rice, 12, who allegedly had waved a toy gun at people in a city park.

A grand jury declined to indict the officers involved, ruling both believed their lives were in danger and that the emergency police dispatcher did not mention Tamir was a child and had what looked like a toy.

The Columbus incident is another in a series of police killings of young African-Americans that black activists say is a symptom of racism in the United States, even though some of the officers involved were also black.