By Kurt Chirbas, Alexander Smith and Erik Ortiz, nbcnews.com
Police in Columbus, Ohio, were investigating how a 13-year-old boy wanted for questioning Wednesday night in an armed robbery ended up fatally shot by an officer.
The child — later identified by Columbus police as Tyre King — had “pulled a gun from his waistband” when officers attempted to take him and another male into custody, the Columbus Division of Police said in a statement. As the encounter unfolded, an officer shot King “multiple times.”
The weapon recovered from the scene was determined to be a BB gun with an attached laser sight, Columbus Police Chief Kim Jacobs said at a news conference Thursday morning. She showed a replica image of that BB gun.
“Our officers carry a gun that looks practically identical to this weapon,” said Jacobs, adding, “It turns out not to be a firearm, but as you can see, it looks like a firearm that can kill you.”
— Columbus Ohio Police (@ColumbusPolice) September 15, 2016
Police were first called to a report of a group of people — including one armed with a gun — demanding money at 7:42 p.m. ET.
“This man just had a gun on this white dude on the street!” a caller told a 911 dispatcher, according to audio released by police. The caller said the armed robber was a “black boy in a hoodie” and “the guys just took off running,” according to the audio.
A person on the call identified as the victim of the robbery said the alleged holdup was over $10. He said he was unhurt. He said the gun looked like a Ruger 1911-style handgun, according to the audio.
Officers arriving at the scene saw three people matching the suspects’ descriptions around a block away. However, when they attempted to speak with them, two of the males ran away, police said in a statement.
“Officers followed the males to the alley … and attempted to take them into custody when one suspect pulled a gun from his waistband,” police added. “One officer shot and struck the suspect multiple times.”
In the 911 audio, a caller tells dispatch: “There they are right there, running back through the alley! They’re — oh! He’s shooting them! Oh my God! Oh my God, they’re shooting!”
King was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 8:22 p.m.
No one else was injured. The other male suspect was interviewed and later released pending further inquiries.
Area resident Chris Naderer told The Columbus Dispatch he heard a gate in his backyard get knocked down and then saw police chasing two young men in an alley outside of his home.
“Heard gun shots, five, 10 seconds afterwards,” Naderer also told NBC affiliate WCMH.