13-year-old Boy Shot And Killed By Police After Pulling Out Toy Gun

Physinews Reports: An officer responding
to a reported armed robbery shot and
killed a 13-year-old boy when the teen
pulled a firearm from his waistband that
was later determined to be a BB gun but
looked “practically identical” to the
weapon that police use, authorities said

The shooting happened around nightfall
Wednesday in an alley east of downtown
Columbus after a short foot chase.
Columbus police said officers had spotted
three males who matched the description
of the robbery suspects, and two of them
ran away when officers tried to speak with

Officers followed the pair into a nearby
alley and tried to take them into custody.

Police said that’s when 13-year-old Tyree
King pulled out a gun, and one officer fired
his weapon, hitting the boy repeatedly.

Tyree died at a children’s hospital. The
officers and the other male involved in the
encounter weren’t injured.

Authorities identified the officer who fired
as a nine-year veteran of the force named
Bryan Mason. He is white; Tyree was

At a news conference Thursday, Police
Chief Kim Jacobs displayed a photo of
what she called a “replica” of the BB gun
that Tyree had.

“Our officers carry a gun that looks
practically identical to this weapon,” she
said. “As you can see, it looks like a
firearm that could kill you.”

Mason has been placed on administrative
leave while the shooting is investigated,
per department protocol, Jacobs said.

Authorities said it wasn’t clear if the
shooting was caught on surveillance or
cellphone video. Columbus police don’t
use body cameras.

Mayor Andrew Ginther appeared to choke
up as he called for the community to come
together to help ensure children remain
safe. He 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. “And a 13-year-old
is dead in the city of Columbus because of
our obsession with guns and violence.”

Neighborhood resident Chris Naderer said
he was home at the time and heard
someone break fencing in his backyard,
then saw an officer chasing two young
black men and heard several gunshots.

“I just think it was bad circumstances that
he had a gun,” Naderer said.

Police reviewing evidence from the scene
determined the boy’s firearm was actually
a BB gun with an attached laser sight.

The male who had been with Tyree was
interviewed and released pending further
investigation, police said. They provided
no further information about him.

Police said additional suspects were being
sought as the shooting and reported
robbery remained under investigation.
The shooting will be reviewed internally,
which is required under Columbus Division
of Police protocol.

Jacobs said it’s too soon to draw
comparisons between Tyree’s death and
the Cleveland death of 12-year-old Tamir
Rice, another case in which a white
policeman fatally shot a black boy who
had a pellet gun.

There was no chase in Tamir’s case. A
caller reported someone pointing a gun at
people near a recreation center, and a
rookie officer shot Tamir almost
immediately after his police cruiser
stopped nearby. The caller had said the
person was likely a juvenile and the
weapon was probably fake, but the call
taker never passed that information to the
dispatcher of the responding officers.

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