WASHINGTON: Police in the US city of Cleveland shot and killed a 12-year-old boy who was in a playground waving around what turned out to be a replica gun, officials and reports said Sunday.
Officers called to the scene Saturday fired at the boy twice, hitting him at least once in the stomach, after reports that he was pointing a gun at people.
He died early Sunday, local newspaper The Plain Dealer reported.
One of the police officers was in his first year in the force, it said.
Audio released of a 911 call made to police details the caller saying the gun was “probably fake.”
A Cleveland police statement said: “Upon arrival on scene, officers located the suspect and advised him to raise his hands. The suspect did not comply with the officers’ orders and reached to his waistband for the gun.
“Shots were fired and the suspect was struck in the torso.”
It added: “Further information reveals that the weapon which the 12-year-old suspect was in possession of is an ‘airsoft’ type replica gun resembling a semi-automatic pistol, with the orange safety indicator removed.”
The victim has not been named.
The shooting comes with a grand jury set to announce if a white policeman will be indicted for the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager in the St Louis suburb of Ferguson in Missouri.