Police: “No animus” was involved in the incident
Source: Steve Watson |
A police officer in LA shot a 15-year-old kid who was part of a group of kids playing with a toy gun in an ally, the LA Times reports.
The child who was shot wasn’t even holding the toy, according to the report, and was just in the vicinity.
The police report notes that officers encountered the group and drew their own firearms, ordering the boy to drop the weapon. When he didn’t drop it, one of the officers opened fire, striking the boy closest to him.
The boy was rushed to hospital and released following treatment.
“It’s certainly an unfortunate situation,” said police department spokesman Cmdr. Andrew Smith. “But because of people bringing replica weapons out like that, it certainly could have been a terrible tragedy.”
Smith added that “No animus” was involved in the incident, meaning no hostility or ill intent, and no arrests were made.
The child who was holding the toy could, however, face charges for “brandishing a replica weapon in the presence of a police officer.”
No comment was made on the actions of the police officer who shot the other child, and it is presumed he is still on duty.
The children are both extremely fortunate to be alive, given other recent high profile incidents where police have shot and killed children playing with toy guns.
In Cleveland, Ohio last year, 12-year-old Tamir Rice was shot dead by police for walking around in a park with a toy gun. Video footage released after the incident revealed that the police did not hesitate and immediately opened fire on the child as they arrived on the scene.
In another high profile case last year in California, a cop was cleared of all charges after he shot and killed a 13-year-old who was walking down the street with an Airsoft gun. The entire incident reportedly unfolded in no more than 10 seconds.