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Cleveland police’s fatal shooting of Tamir Rice, 12, ruled homicide

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CLEVELAND (CNN) — The death of Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old boy who was shot last month by a Cleveland police officer who authorities say mistook the child’s air gun for a real firearm, has been ruled a homicide, the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office said Friday.

The November 22 shooting outside a Cleveland recreation center is under investigation, and Tamir’s family has filed a lawsuit against two officers and the city over his death.

The cause of death was a “gunshot wound of the torso with injuries of major vessel, intestines and pelvis,” according to paperwork provided by Christopher Harris in the medical examiner’s communications office.

Rice was pointing a pellet gun at people outside the recreation center before he was shot, police say. A witness called 911 to say that a black male — “probably a juvenile” — was pointing “a pistol” at people, but added twice that the gun was “probably” fake.

A dispatcher asked officers to respond, but it doesn’t appear the dispatcher told them of the caller’s suspicions that the gun was probably fake or that the person was probably a minor.

Two officers arrived in a police car. Within two seconds of exiting the car, Officer Timothy Loehmann shot Tamir, and the boy died the next day, police say.

Police have said that Loehmann opened fire after Tamir reached for the gun in his waistband and that an orange tip indicating the gun was a toy had been removed.

Tamir’s mother, Samaria Rice, has said she didn’t allow her son to play with toy guns, and one of his friends gave the air gun to him.

Loehmann, 26, and the car’s driver, Officer Frank Garmback, 46, are on paid leave as the investigation is conducted.

CNN’s Eliott C. McLaughlin contributed to this report.

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6 comments

  • big john stankus

    If a person walks onto my property and points a gun at me, I will absolutely shoot to kill first and ask questions later. 12 years old is plenty old enough to be a threat – these inner city savages start gangbanging as young as 10 years old these days. You do NOT have time to stop and give a lot of thought as to whether or not the Perp deserves the benefit of a doubt. If you do something that stupid, you get what you get and that is how it should be.

  • Ken

    Arrest the parents. If a 12 year old doesn’t understand the implications of pointing a gun in public, the parents have failed. For God’s sake don’t award them money in a lawsuit and don’t blame the police for trying to protect the public. Be accountable for your stupidity.

  • Stan

    Wow, amazing. Attention: ALL deaths of a person by another person are homicide, now they will have to determine whether it was justifiable or not, which it was.

  • You assume

    WTF??? Another killing if a child by a cop? Wtf?? Who the hell is training these stupid cops? Why are they cops? I am assuming all these stupid comments are straight from white people!! This is not justice! It one of your kids was shot you would want justice no matter who killed him! You ignorant mtfk!! This is justified?? You will see hell before you ever see heaven I can assure you that!! These cops need to get out and go back to the trailer parks they came from, they shoot to kill and they are scared for their life?? Why the hell are they cops??? To get away with murder and everything else. Scary sobs!! I can’t believe this is still happening!!! Karma all I can say! Minorities will not bow down to you any more this is us against you!! You will not kill out children and will not get away with it! Just like your big mouths said you wil never see a black president!!!

  • william

    The cop needs to loose his job period! The cops rolled up like a gang would no questions asked. Just rolled up and shot him. I dont live in cleveland but with shit like that I never will. You cant just shoot people for no reason. Serve and protect not just shoot at will!