A 12-year-old boy brandishing what turned out to be a replica gun died yesterday after he was shot by a US police officer responding to an emergency call about a person waving a gun in a park.
Deputy Chief Ed Tomba said the officer fired twice after the boy pulled the fake weapon - which was lacking the orange safety indicator usually on the muzzle - from his waistband.
The boy did not make any verbal threats toward the officer or point the gun, but reached into his waistband and grabbed it after being told to raise his hands, Mr Tomba said.
"That's when the officer fired," he said.
Police in Cleveland said the weapon was an "airsoft"-type replica gun that resembled a semi-automatic pistol. The orange safety indicator had been removed, police said.
A man who called police told emergency dispatchers before police arrived that the boy was on a swing set and pointing a pistol that was "probably fake" and scaring everyone.