On Wednesday, a 13 year old boy was fatally shot by a police officer in the Olde Towne East neighborhood.
The officer has been identified as Bryan Mason, who has served the Columbus Police Department for nine years.
According to the police, eighth grader Tyre King had pulled out a gun when the officers were trying to arrest him for being a suspect in an armed robbery a couple of blocks away. The robbery reportedly occurred in the area of S. 18th and Capital Streets at around 7:45 p.m.
Tyre King Dead: Weapon Found To Be BB gun
The victim of the robbery said he was approached by a group of men who showed him a gun and demanded money.
Seeing Tyre draw a gun, Mason fired multiple times. Tyre, who was transported to the Nationwide Children’s Hospital, died after a short while, ABC 6 reports. The weapon he had pulled out was found to be a BB gun.
In a statement issued through their attorney, King’s family requested that an independent investigation be conducted. The family said “numerous witness accounts are in direct conflict with the officer’s version of events.”
Attorney Chanda Brown said Tyre “was a child who was loved and cherished by his family. The grief is worsened further by the fact that this death comes at the hands of a man who was sworn to protect the citizens of Columbus.”
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Tyre King: Family indicates “the actions described by the police are out of [Tyre’s] normal character.”
As the New York Times points out, this is another incident where an African American was shot by a white police officer. Police Chief Kimberley Jacobs said the police are looking for footage from security cameras or any videos captured by bystanders. Witnesses, including one who was with the 13 year old, are also being interviewed.
In 2012 Mason had shot and killed a man. Cleared of any wrongdoing, he was placed on administrative leave.
The victim, who was a typical 13 year old child, liked to play sports – including football, soccer, hockey, and gymnastics. According to the website for Walton + Brown LLP, the family of the deceased victim “are shocked and indicate the actions described by the police are out of his normal character.”