World / US and Canada

13-year-old black boy with BB gun killed by police in Ohio

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-09-16 14:34

BEIJING -- A police officer responding to a robbery report killed a 13-year-old black boy with a BB gun later Wednesday in Columbus, the capital city of Ohio, police said on Thursday.

According to Columbus police's statement, Bryan Mason, a police officer who shot and killed a man in 2012, was investigating a report of an armed robbery of $10 Wednesday night when Tyre King, a 13-year-old black boy, pulled a BB gun from his waistband. The police officer fired and the boy pronounced dead in hospital after the shooting.

Andrew Ginther, Mayor of Columbus, said "there is something wrong in this country, and it is bringing its epidemic to our city streets," regarding the death of the boy a "call to action for our entire community."

There has been no evidence that Tyre King is related to the robbery.

The family of the boy called for a fair and independent investigation into his death.

Columbus police said on their Facebook account that the officer involved did not have a body cam when shooting the boy, which may make the investigation difficult.

People gathered on Thursday near the scene of the shooting, some of them carrying signs calling for justice for Tyre, according to a report by the Associated Press.

The public is comparing Tyre's death to the fatal shooting of a 12-year-old black boy in 2014 in the state while Columbus police rejected the comparison, saying that "the only thing similar in nature is the age, race and outcome."

Agence France-Presse said citing officials that Tyre's death "marked the 13th police-involved shooting in Columbus so far this year, five of which have resulted in deaths of suspects and another that killed an officer."

The black boy's death was preceded by several police-involved fatal shootings across the United States this year. These shootings put the use of force by police into question and some of them have prompted protests against racial discrimination and obsession with guns.

On Aug 13, a confrontation between police and protestors turned violent in Milwaukee in the north central US state of Wisconsin, after a police officer shot and killed an armed 23-year-old man.

On July 17, three gunmen killed three police officers and wounded several others in a shooting incident in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. One gunman was shot dead by the police, and the other two are still on the run.

On July 7, a 25-year-old sniper named Micah Johnson ambushed and killed five police officers and wounded seven others and two civilians in downtown Dallas, Texas. He was shot dead by the police.

On July 5, two black men were shot dead by police in Louisiana and Minnesota, which sparked angry protests by African Americans across the nation against police brutality and racial discrimination.

On March 27, a native American woman was killed by an Arizona police officer. The shooting has prompted protests by native American activists.

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