Updated: Vigil to be held for 13 year old shot, killed by Columbus police
A vigil has been organized in remembrance of Tyre King, a 13 year old shot and killed by Columbus Division of Police officers Wednesday night.
King was shot after he pulled out a BB gun, which officers mistook as a real gun, according to a statement from the police.
Police said they encountered King and two other males after responding to a call regarding an armed robbery.
The officer who shot King has been named as Bryan Mason.
The vigil is scheduled between 5 and 8 p.m. on the South Oval, organized by the Ohio State Coalition for Black Liberation.
The shooting of King, who was black, has drawn comparisons to the shooting death of Tamir Rice, a black 12 year old in Cleveland who was also shot after possessing a BB gun. The officer in that case did not face charges, which congressional Rep. Marcia Fudge called “a miscarriage of justice.”
Update, 1:26 p.m.
The Dispatch spoke to Demetrius Braxton, 19, who was with King when they encountered the police officers.
“I was in the situation,” Braxton told The Dispatch. “We robbed somebody, the people I was with.”
Braxton told The Dispatch that when police started chasing them, they ran.
“The cops said to get down,” Braxton said. “We got down but my friend (King) got up and ran.”
He said King was shot four to five times.
“He started to run. When he ran, the cops shot him,” Braxton said. “I didn’t think a cop would shoot. Why didn’t they tase him?”
Braxton also told The Dispatch the BB gun King had resembled a real gun.
Update, 5:16 p.m.
Rep. Joyce Beatty, who represents much of the campus and off-campus area, as well as the neighborhood where King was killed, Old Towne East, issued the following statement Thursday afternoon:
“Tyree King’s death is a tragedy and today we mourn the loss of this 13 year-old child. I join others in urging the community to unite and to respect the privacy of the King family during this difficult time. As this incident is fully investigated, we must stand together—elected officials, parents, activists, police, community and faith leaders, and all of us—to save lives.”
Update, 1:51 p.m.: This story was updated to include a photo of the type of BB gun that police say Tyre King had.
This article first appeared on The Lantern's website on September 15, 2016.