This weekend officers responding to a 911 call in Ohio entered into a one-sided gunfight against a youth armed with what turned out to be an airsoft replica handgun.
According to Fox 8,Cleveland Police responded to a call made at about 3:30 p.m. Saturday afternoon to the 911 dispatch. The caller, an older man, advised that a young man in a camouflage cap and grey jacket had some sort of handgun that he was taking out of his pants and pointing at people at the Cuddell Recreation Center, a playground in the area.
The caller described the subject as "probably a juvenile" and that the gun was "probably a fake."
The full 911 call, obtained by obtained by WJW in which the complainant, speaking calmly, tells dispatcher several times the gun may be fake and the subject may be a juvenile.
According to KTLA, two CPD officers responded immediately and located the boy in question. After telling him to raise his hands, the boy instead reached into his waistband and grabbed what police took to be a firearm. With this, one of the officers fired, striking the boy twice in the abdomen.
With the 12-year old youth, currently unidentified, rushed to the hospital in serious condition, the officers involved have been placed on administrative leave pending further review.
According to Cleveland.com, the officer who fired was a rookie cop new to the job.
The gun recovered from the boy, according to authorities, is "an airsoft type replica gun resembling a semi-automatic pistol" that had its orange safety indicator removed.
Upon examination of the photos of the item, it looks rather like a non-blowback 1911-style spring gun that you can pick up widely for about $20.
While details of the airsoft incident are slim as it is a developing story, Cleveland just had to pay out a $3 million settlement to the relatives of two people killed in a 2012 incident in which officers fired 137-shots at subjects later found to be unarmed.
Attorneys in that lawsuit called the incident "probably one of the worst cases of police misconduct" in U.S. history and its specter is sure to loom over Saturday's shooting.
What are your opinions on this weekend's case? Tragically, could it have been avoided by leaving the orange tip in place and following proper gun-safety practices?