COLUMBUS (WCMH) — A Columbus police officer fatally shot a 13-year-old boy he was trying to detain following reports of an armed robbery, officials said.
Authorities identified the teenager as Tyre King, an eighth grader at Linden-McKinley STEM Academy.
The Columbus Division of Police said in a statement that King “pulled a gun from his waistband” when officers attempted to take him and another male into custody Wednesday night.
This happened around 7:45 p.m. near the corner of South 18th Street and East Capital Street.
Columbus police responded to the area after a robbery victim claimed a group of individuals had robbed him at gunpoint. Officers then spotted three males matching the description in front of 33 Hoffman Street and tried to talk to them.
Two of the males then ran away, and officers followed them to an alley behind 27 Hoffman Street.
“Officers followed the males to the alley … and attempted to take them into custody when one suspect pulled a gun from his waistband,” a police statement said. “One officer shot and struck the suspect multiple times.”
King was taken to Nationwide Children’s Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 8:22 p.m. No one else was injured.
Crime Scene Search Unit detectives determined the teen was holding a BB gun with an attached laser sight.
“We are talking about a 13-year-old that we believe was involved in an armed robbery,” CPD Chief Kim Jacobs said during a news conference. “I know that some of the officers at the scene were very disturbed about the fact that here we are out at this time of the night chasing armed 13-year-olds.”
“We oughta be shocked and angry as a community. In the safest big city in America, we have a 13-year-old dead in our city. That’s unacceptable,” said Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther. “We, as a community, need to come to grips with the fact, with such easy access to guns, whether they’re firearms or replicas, there’s something wrong in this country and it’s bringing its epidemic to our city streets.”