Tamir Rice was playing with a toy gun in a playground when a call was placed to police that someone was pointing a pellet gun at people in the vicinity.
While the caller stipulated that the gun was ‘probably fake’ and the owner ‘probably a juvenile’, the two police officers sent to investigate the matter were not informed of these details.
Upon arriving at the playground, the two officers, one a ten-year veteran, instructed Tamir to raise his hands.
Unfamiliar with official procedure, the twelve-year-old instead pulled up his shirt and displayed the toy gun, at which point, one of the attending police officers opened fire and Tamir was hit in the stomach.
The officers involved in the tragic incident have been placed on leave while the Cleveland police department investigate. It is as yet undecided as to whether the officers will face criminal charges.
A lawyer representing Tamir’s heartbroken family has said: “The family is devastated. I would go as far as to say inconsolable. Tamir’s mother woke up yesterday with a son. Today, she woke up without a son.”