April 27, 2016
A 13-year-old Baltimore boy is recovering from a gunshot wound after police in the southeast section of the city allegedly shot him in response to his flashing a replica semi-automatic pistol.
According to The Baltimore Sun, Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said the incident occurred around 4:15 p.m. in the area of the 1100 block of East Baltimore Street, nearby a youth recreation center and basketball courts. Two detectives reportedly saw the boy with what looked like a real gun and initiated a chase.
Davis told the Sun he did not believe the officers "acted inappropriately in any way" in light of the fact that they had no idea whether or not the weapon was real.
The boy's mother, who has not been identified, was taken into police custody for questioning.
Just as the shooting occurred, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake was holding an event in West Baltimore to mark the anniversary of riots surrounding the death of Freddie Gray, the 25-year-old unarmed black man who died as a result of spinal injuries sustained during his arrest and police transport.
Wednesday's incident bears some similarities to the fatal November 2014 shooting in of 12-year-old Tamir Rice, who was killed at a Cleveland park when police suspected the boy's replica gun was a real firearm. Last December, a grand jury cleared two Cleveland police officers in the shooting, citing lack of evidence to charge them. Earlier this week, the city of Cleveland reached a $6 million settlement in a lawsuit filed by Rice's family. The head of a Cleveland police union wants the family to use some of that settlement for programs that will educate kids about the dangers of using real and replica firearms.