Washington: The police in the US city of Cleveland shot dead a 12-year-old boy brandishing what turned out to be a replica gun, media reported Monday.
Tamir Rice was shot twice Saturday afternoon and died in hospital Sunday, BBC reported, adding that police say he failed to obey an order to raise his hands.
The boy pulled the replica gun that resembled a semi-automatic pistol from the waistband of his trousers, Cleveland deputy police chief Ed Tomba was quoted as saying. An orange safety indicator on the gun had been removed, according to the police.
An audio recording of the emergency call made by the man who reported Tamir Rice to the authorities reveals that on two occasions he said that the pistol was "probably a fake" and on another occasion that the person holding it "was probably a juvenile".
When the two officers arrived, the boy did not point the weapon at them or otherwise threaten them, according to Tomba.
One of the officers involved was in his first year on the local force, the other had more than 10 years of experience.
The incident comes as a grand jury in Ferguson, Missouri, is to decide imminently whether to charge the police officer who killed African-American teenager Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, in August. Brown's death sparked riots and protests in Ferguson, a town of 21,000 north of St. Louis, that left scores arrested and wounded in clashes with police.
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