© 2023 Ideastream Public Media

1375 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44115
(216) 916-6100 | (877) 399-3307

WKSU is a public media service licensed to Kent State University and operated by Ideastream Public Media.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
To contact us with news tips, story ideas or other related information, e-mail newsstaff@ideastream.org.

12-Year-Old Boy with Replica Gun Dies After Being Shot by Cleveland Police

Neighbors and activists set up a memorial to Tamir Rice in the park where an officer shot him. (Nick Castele/ideastream)
Neighbors and activists set up a memorial to Tamir Rice in the park where an officer shot him. (Nick Castele/ideastream)

Updated 8:20 p.m. 11/23/14:

Cleveland police shot a 12-year-old boy who was carrying a replica gun at a playground Saturday afternoon on the city’s West Side, the division of police said in a news release.

The boy, identified by the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner as Tamir Rice, died after being taken to MetroHealth Medical Center, a hospital spokesman confirmed Sunday morning. Police said the Rice had been hit in the torso and had been transported to the hospital for surgery.

Police received a 9-1-1 call Saturday afternoon reporting a child was holding what appeared to be a pistol, and was pointing it at others, outside Cudell Recreation Center at West Boulevard and Detroit Avenue.

The caller noted the gun was “probably fake,” later adding, “I don’t know if it’s real or not.”

(Listen to the full call here. An expletive has been bleeped.)

Police described the gun as “an ‘airsoft’ type replica gun resembling a semi-automatic pistol, with the orange safety indicator removed.”

When officers arrived at the park around 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, they told Rice to raise his hands, according to the news release. After Rice reached toward his waistband, police fired multiple shots, the release says.

Deputy Chief Ed Tomba told reporters Saturday night that one officer fired two shots, according to 19 Action News. That officer has not been identified.

Jeffrey Folmer, the president of the Cleveland Police Patrolman's association, said officers hadn’t known the gun was possibly fake.

The officers have been placed on administrative leave in accordance with police protocol, the release says. An officer was taken to Fairview Hospital with an ankle injury.

Nick Castele is a senior reporter covering politics and government for Ideastream Public Media.