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Tyre King: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Tyre King

Tyre King. (Walton Brown law firm)

A 13-year-old boy who police say was carrying a BB gun was fatally shot Wednesday night by an officer in Columbus, Ohio, WCMH-TV reports.

The shooting of Tyre King occurred during an armed robbery investigation about 7:45 p.m. on September 14, the news station reported. The New York Times said King was African-American, and the officer who shot him was white. Police had previously given his name as Tyree.

In a news release, Columbus Police said King pulled the BB gun from his waistband before an officer shot him. The officer was identified as Bryan Mason, who has worked for the department for nine years, according to 10tv.com.

In a statement, Tyre’s family asked the community not to rush to judgment and to remember the boy’s age.

NBC News noted that the death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice also occurred in Ohio – in Cleveland in that case. Rice was shot while holding a pellet gun, police said.

Here’s what you need to know:


1. Tyre Was an Eighth Grader at a STEM Academy Who Was Active in Sports

A spokeswoman for the Columbus School District told Heavy that Tyre was in the 8th grade at Linden-McKinley Stem Academy and that counselors were on site to help his classmates. The district website describes the school as “focusing on science, technology, engineering and math.”

In a statement posted online, attorneys hired by King’s family wrote that he was “a typical 13-year-old child. He was active in football, soccer, hockey and gymnastics. They are shocked and indicate the actions described by the police are out of his normal character.”

Attorney Chanda Brown, hired by King’s family, wrote on Facebook, “The family is obviously distraught by the murder of Tyre. Our preliminary research indicates that Tyre was a child who was loved and cherished by his family. The grief is worsened further by the fact that this death comes at the hands of a man who was sworn to protect the citizens of Columbus.”

Mayor Andrew Ginther said the death was a “call to action,” asking “why would an eighth grader have on him an almost am exact replica of a police weapon? It is a dangerous time to be a police officer,” according to 10TV.com.

The Columbus Police Department said in a statement posted on Facebook that “officers responded to the area on the report of an armed robbery.”

NBC4i said the victim told police “a group of individuals approached him. One had a gun and demanded money.”

In a news release, Columbus police said, “On September 14, 2016, at approximately 7:42 pm, officers were dispatched to the area on the report of an armed robbery involving multiple suspects. Upon arrival, the victim told officers a group of individuals approached him, one of them brandishing a gun, and demanded money.”

A foot pursuit unfolded.

“Officers chased several suspects on foot to a nearby alley where one suspect was shot,” wrote Columbus police.

The hashtag #TyreKing (and #TyreeKing) was already trending on Twitter on the morning of September 15, with people upset by the death, many of them citing Tyre’s young age.

A New York Daily News writer said on Facebook, “Youngest police shooting victim since Tamir Rice.”


2. Tyre Died at the Hospital a Short Time Later After Being Chased Into an Alley

According to The Associated Press, police said the officers “saw three males matching the descriptions of the suspects and tried to speak with them, when two of the suspects fled on foot.”

The police news release says, “Officers observed three males matching the descriptions in front of 33 Hoffman Street and attempted to speak with them, when two of the males fled on foot. Officers followed the males to the alley in the rear of 27 Hoffman Street and attempted to take them into custody when one suspect pulled a gun from his waistband.”

The police news release said, “One officer shot and struck the suspect multiple times. The male was taken to Nationwide Children’s Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead at approximately 8:22 pm. The officers and other suspect were not injured.”

The deceased person was later identified by police in a news release as Tyree King.

The Dayton Daily News reported that police were speaking with “one of the armed robbery suspects, as well as multiple witnesses of the robbery and shooting. The third suspect in the robbery has not been located.”

The Columbus Post Dispatch said police had interviewed and released a male who was with King.


3. Reports Say Tyre Had a BB Gun

columbus police

A replica of the BB gun used in the armed robbery that Columbus police posted on Facebook. (Columbus Police)

“One of the suspects pulled out a gun,” said NBC4i, and “One of the officers fired and hit the suspect multiple times.”

The Columbus police news release said, “Crime Scene Search Unit detectives processed the shooting scene and collected what appeared to be a handgun. Upon further inspection, it was determined to be a BB gun with an attached laser site. The gun was recovered and transported to the Columbus Police Property Room.”

Police released a photo of a replica BB gun to show the public how similar to a real gun they can appear.

The police chief said “It turns out not to be a firearm but it looks like a firearm that could kill you,” according to 10tv.com.

The TV station says “detectives collected the gun and determined it was a BB gun with an attached laser site.”

The Columbus Post-Dispatch said Mayor Andrew J. Ginther, Police Chief Kim Jacobs and Public Safety Director Ned Pettus are planning to speak about the King shooting on September 15.

Brown, the attorney for King’s family, said the family desires outside investigators.

“The Columbus Police Department has a history of investigating itself following these officer involved shootings and we believe that these investigations are inherently biased. The best thing that the City of Columbus could do to ease the minds and fears of its citizens is to step aside and let an independent party investigate the matter,” she wrote in a statement.


4. Columbus Police Don’t Have Body Cameras Yet & Tyre Was Shot Multiple Times, Reports Say

An attorney for Tyre’s family told ABC News the family disputes the police account of the shooting. The lawyer, Sean Walton, said in a statement posted online that “multiple witnesses that we have been made aware of that do not corroborate the current narrative.”

The attorney wrote, “Please do not rush to judgment. We also have to remind everyone that the “facts” being discussed in the media are not facts at all. We do not know what he did or did not do. There are allegations that have been made regarding his actions, and those allegations cannot be taken as factual until a thorough, unbiased investigation has taken place. Please keep that in mind as we discuss the killing of this 13-year-old child. There are multiple witnesses that we have been made aware of that do not corroborate the current narrative. Please keep the family in your prayers and understand that until we have answers we must continue to call for transparency and accountability not only in all police-involved killings, but especially in the case of this 13-year-old boy.”

WKRC Cincinnati reported that King was shot multiple times after he pulled a gun out of his waistband.

The officers weren’t injured, AP said.

Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein wrote on Facebook, “Just like Tamir Rice, #TyreeKing was holding a BB gun. We must stop demonizing black children. #BlackLivesMatter.”

The New York Times says Columbus police are expected to get body cameras next year but don’t have them yet.


5. A Neighbor Told the News Media He Heard Three to Five Gunshots

The Columbus Post-Dispatch reported that a man who lives in the area heard “heard someone knock down a gate in his backyard.”

According to the newspaper, the man said he “looked outside to see a police officer chasing two young men into an alley behind his home. He said he then heard three to five gunshots from the alley.”


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37 comments

      • No because ALL the witnesses in the Michael Brown case were right with the hands up huh. To blind to care about facts and truths but hey at least the Riot still happened. smh What happened was tragic but he took his own life wanting to be a gang banger robbing others he pulled his gun and he’s laid to rest. Children should be playing and acting like kids not robbing people.

    • Really?? what if this was your kid or You, do you think people would be posting something like “one less criminal” we all know what type of person you are…heartless and judgmental.

    • Really?? what if this was your kid or You, do you think people would be posting something like “one less criminal” we all know what type of person you are…heartless and judgmental.

    • Aye well i use to no tyree king my aunt know his dad but rih he died at a young age but he will be missed as i wright this im am by his house right now but rip tyree😪😪

  1. Fact #6: Black teen was carrying what ANY person from a few feet away would think was a REAL gun.

    Fact #7: He was doomed the day his mom stuck him with the ridiculous name “Three”.

  2. Its really sad what happend but the kid should not have pulled out a fake gun… the police were doing their job and protecting themselves its a tough situation but they did what they had to do.

  3. Another Kid Killed….In the Commission of a Felony, evading Arrest, Carrying a GUN not a Toy! BLAME HIS PARENTS They Never Taught Him Not To ROB Not to Carry A Weapon and NOT To Run From the Police!…..Cops Do Not Want to Shoot ANY KIDS……But they have 1/2 sec to shoot ….or GET SHOT! Instead of Rioting Black Lives Matter should be Teaching KIDS to NOT COMMIT CRIMES and Not Carry ANY GUNS EVEN TOY GUNS Unless they want to get LEGALLY KILLED By the Police!

    • How do you know he was part of the robbery? your passing judgment on his parents who has lost their 13year child. We know what your parents taught you!

    • Obviously not! He’s supposed to politely ask the suspect if the gun is a toy, a BB gun, or an actual firearm. THEN and only then can he wait for the guy to shoot him first. Duh!

  4. All of you that left a negative comment about a 13 year old kid getting killed regardless if he had or had not a real or fake gun are pitiful and should be ashamed of yourself, if this was your kid you wouldn’t leave these types of comments. His life is over! Police shoot to kill, they don’t injury them so they can face the justice system. We all know Police are doing there jobs but this was just a Kid and for anyone to pass judgment on him says a lot about who they are.

    • Shoot a gunman in the leg, they can still shoot you. Shoot a gunman in the shoulder, they can still shoot you. Shoot a gunman in the head, and you survive. I’m a parent of five. Before they’re old enough to even handle a gun, I teach them the first rule of shooting: NEVER POINT A GUN AT ANYTHING YOU DON’T INTEND TO SHOOT. If they’re dumb enough to obtain, conceal, and threaten cops with a gun (simulated or not), then I’ve failed as a parent and my child deserves to die.

  5. A 13 year old where I grew up had a mother and father, went and STAYED in school, cut lawns raked leafs & shoveled snow for money…a 13 year old in da hood smokes weed, has sex, drinks and robs….not all of them but there are plenty who do. Play stupid games, win stupid prizes like getting shot by the cops.

    • His 19 year old friend Demetrius Braxton said on tape, that King did have the gun and that they held the guy up. Good riddance to this piece of shit. End Of Story.

  6. Keep mourning the actions of idiots, praising criminals. It’s sad that a child became a criminal, but when you play stupid games, you win stupid prizes. That said, the black community should be making better decisions when it comes to child care environments, and choosing a partner that’s worth a damn. Stop having kids in horrible areas. We are all a product of our surroundings.

  7. In a similar situation, a friend of mine had a run in with cops and a bb gun. If it looks like a gun, and is brandished like a gun, I don’t blame an officer for protecting themselves from a perceived imminent threat. If those facts prove false, hang the cop.

  8. Aye well i use to no tyree king my aunt know his dad but rih he died at a young age but he will be missed as i wright this im am by his house right now but rip tyree