Published on Nov 22, 2014
12-year-old with ‘airsoft’ toy gun shot by officer in playground, 911 Call Released. 12-year-old shot in officer-involved shooting at Cleveland rec center,
CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) – Cleveland Police are investigating after an officer-involved shooting at a Cleveland rec center on Saturday afternoon.
Cleveland EMS says a 12-year-old boy was shot and taken to MetroHealth Medical Center with serious injuries. According to his mother, Samaria Rice, the boy is now in critical condition after being shot in the stomach. He is currently in surgery.
The shooting happened around 3:30 p.m. at Cudell Rec Center located at 1910 West Boulevard. The facility has been taped off while units investigate, including the Cleveland Division of Police Use of Deadly Force Investigation Team.
Cleveland Police say officers responded to a radio assignment outside of the rec center for a male with a gun. Preliminary information reveals that witnesses reported a male was in the playground area of the center, waving a gun and pointing it at people.
Police say when officers arrived, they located the suspect and advised him to raise his hands. However, the suspect did not comply with the officers’ orders and reached to his waistband for the gun. Shots were fired and the suspect was struck in the torso.
“The young man had the weapon in his waistband. He pulled the weapon out. One of our officers fired two shots, striking the young man,” said Deputy Chief Ed Tomba with Cleveland Police.
Tomba said the boy did not make any verbal threats towards police, and there was no confrontation. The boy did not point the gun at officers.
Further information from police reveals the weapon was an “airsoft” type replica gun, resembling a semi-automatic pistol, with the orange safety indicator removed.
According to police, one officer was transported to Fairview Hospital for treatment of an ankle injury.
The Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office was on scene for this investigation, which is ongoing. Police say both officers involved will be placed on administrative leave, as is protocol in officer-involved shooting incidents.
According to Rice, they live across the street from the rec center. She says two young men came to her residence to say her son was shot. When she ran over to the scene, police would not let her through. Rice says police told her the boy had a gun and that he was shot by police.
However, Rice says her son did not have access to a gun in the home. She says if he did get a gun, it would have had to have come from a friend or someone on the street.
She says she still does not understand why her son was shot.
Stay with 19 Action News for more on this developing story. Reporter Blake Chenault continues to follow this story. Tune in for his reports tonight on 19 Action News at 10 and 11 for the latest details.
CLEVELAND, Ohio — Police determined that a 12-year-old boy was shot by an officer outside a Cleveland rec center Saturday when he reached into his waistband for an airsoft gun.
According to Cleveland police, witnesses first reported around 3:30 p.m. that a male was in the playground area outside Cuddell Recreation Center, waving a gun and pointing it at people.
One 911 caller said the suspect was “probably a juvenile” and that the gun was “probably a fake.”
He said the following to a dispatcher, according to a 911 recording released by police:
Caller: I’m sitting in the park…there’s a guy in here with a pistol, and it’s probably a fake one, but he’s pointing it at everybody.
Caller: The guy keeps pulling it in and out…it’s probably fake, but he’s scaring the [explicit] out of people.”
Listen to the entire 911 call in the video player at the top of this page
When two officers arrived, they found the boy and ordered him to raise his hands. He did not comply with the officers’ orders and reached into his waistband, according to police. Shots were fired, and he was hit in the torso.
The boy was taken to MetroHealth Medical Center for treatment, and was in surgery Saturday evening.
Police say the weapon the boy had was “an airsoft type replica gun resembling a semi-automatic pistol.” They said the orange safety indicator had been removed. They did release a photo of that airsoft gun to the media.
Union officials say the officers acted responsibly, and the boy had what appeared to be a gun.
One officer involved was taken to Fairview Hospital for treatment of an injury to his ankle.
The Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office was on scene for the investigation.
Both officers involved will be placed on administrative leave as is protocol in officer-involved shooting incidents.
The investigation is continuing.