Wednesday, September 14th, A 13-year-old with a BB gun was shot and killed by Bryan Mason, a Columbus, Ohio police officer. The young boy, Tyree King, was seen by police with two other men when they were responding to a robbery nearby. A man called the police and reported that “a group of individuals approached him, once of them brandishing a gun, and demanded money,” said the Columbus department the following morning. After searching for people that fit the man’s description, the officers spotted King and the two others and and they moved towards the group to question them.
The police claimed that two men out of the three took off running, and when Officer Mason caught up with them, “one suspect pulled a gun from his waistband.” The cop immediately pulled out his firearm and shot the 8th grader repeatedly. An hour later, King died in Nationwide Children’s Hospital. During investigation, it was revealed to the public that King’s alleged pistol was a BB gun with a laser sight attached.
It is still open to question if Tyree King and his friend had anything to do with the armed robbery that night, even after the other boy was taken in questioning and was later released. This isn’t the first time Mason has been involved in a case like this, as he was a part of at least one other fatal shooting in the past.
Chris Naderer, a resident of Columbus told The Columbus Dispatch he heard everything from gates being knocked down, Mason chasing the boys, and multiple gunshots in a span of ten seconds.
This case feels too similar to the death of Tamir Rice two years ago, when the the 12-year-old was murdered by the police for holding a BB gun as well.
The Columbus Police Department did not immediately say whether or not the police involved were wearing body cameras, and New York Daily News Writer Shaun King wrote this piece on why he doesn’t believe the police anymore mainly because of that reason. “I don’t believe them — ever. They are not based on an analysis of facts. They don’t come after an investigation. They aren’t released alongside body camera or dashcam footage. Instead, these initial statements are made by skilled men and women who have every interest in protecting their fellow officers. Consistently, these initial statements provide us with horrible details about the victim and nearly no details about the officers involved — all but convicting the victim, and freeing the cop.”
More than half of the people who read about this story will think that Mason made the right call. This doesn’t change the fact that the boy was only 13, and it’s likely the officer responsible won’t face any repercussions.