Police in Columbus, Ohio, say officers responding to a call about an armed robbery Wednesday night found and pursued several young suspects — and that when one pulled what looked like a gun, an officer shot him multiple times, killing him. It turns out that 13-year-old Tyree King had a BB gun with a laser sight, police say.
“This is very realistic,” Sgt. Rich Weiner said of the BB gun, according to member station WOSU.
After the shooting, King was taken to Nationwide Children’s Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at around 8:22 p.m. ET, according to police.
King was pronounced dead 40 minutes after officers were sent to an area near the intersection of South 18th Street and East Capital Street, east of downtown Columbus. They spoke to the victim of an armed robbery, who described a group of young men who had approached him and demanded money after showing him a gun.
“Officers observed three males matching the descriptions in front of 33 Hoffman Street and attempted to speak with them, when two of the males fled on foot,” the Columbus Police Department says, adding that the officers followed the males to an alley — and that when they tried to take the suspects into custody, “one suspect pulled a gun from his waistband.”
One of the officers “shot and struck the suspect multiple times,” police say.
Crime scene investigators later found what looked to be a handgun — but “it was determined to be a BB gun with an attached laser [sight],” police say.
Law enforcement officials say the male suspect who was with King was questioned and released, adding that the investigation is continuing. The department’s critical incident response team is investigating the shooting, police say.