Police officers in Tamir Rice case claim boy pulled out pellet gun before the shooting
Cleveland officers involved in the fatal shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice claim that the boy pulled out what appeared to be a gun and that he appeared much older.
Officers Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback signed the statement with the local prosecutor in the first account to be heard by the public since the shooting incident that occurred on November 22, 2014.
In the statement, Officer Loehmann claimed that he saw the suspect pick up an object and stick it down his waistband as he and his friend approached the Cleveland recreational center. The officer did not mention Tamir by name during the recording of the statement. Officer Loehmann further added that he yelled loudly at the suspect asking him to show his hands when it appeared that he were pulling out a gun.
Loehmann claimed that he thought the boy was more than 18 years old judging by his size and that he thought the suspect was pulling out a real gun. At that moment, he and his partner knew that there was a real and active threat before he proceeded to fire two rounds. One of the rounds hit the boy and wounded him. Loehmann’s partner also thought that the gun was real according to his statement that was released by the officer of the Cuyahoga County prosecutor
According to Garmback’s statement, the person waving the gun appeared to be an adult. The two statements from the police officers were forwarded to a grand jury on Monday. The jury is yet to present their decision whether the officers will face charges for the shooting.
The shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice created a lot of tension in the town and added fire to civil unrest brought about by cases of police brutality. A lot of questions have also been brought forward about how the policemen handled the situation. On the day of the incident, the two officers received a dispatch call about a young man pointing a toy gun at people after a report from a concerned party. The officers were not alerted that it was probably a child playing with a toy despite the fact that the caller had mentioned it to the dispatcher.