BALTIMORE (WJZ) — It was a 12-year veteran of the Baltimore Police Department who shot a 13-year-old carrying a Daisy brand replica handgun near the McKim Community Center Wednesday afternoon, WJZ’s Mike Hellgren has learned.
Police say it all started when two detectives were driving in the area after coming from a crime meeting at police headquarters to discuss a string of recent shootings.
They noticed the boy, and “they identified themselves as police officers to this young man,” according to Commissioner Kevin Davis. They told him to drop the weapon and “the young man took off on foot with the gun in his hand.”
Police say he never dropped it during a foot chase that lasted more than 150 yards.
Then one of the officers shot him.
Commissioner Kevin Davis defended the officer’s actions, saying “it’s an absolute identical replica semi-automatic pistol.”
PRESS CONFERENCE: Police Update On Shooting Involving Injured 13-year-old
“Those police officers had no way of knowing that it was not, in fact, an actual firearm. It looks like a firearm.”
At an update on the incident at police headquarters Thursday afternoon, Davis asked the community what they expect police to do in a situation such as this.
“We can’t call 911, we are 911,” he said.
T.J. Smith, a spokesman for the police department, said the specific gun the boy had can be purchased for as little as $15 online.
“They don’t sell them at Toys ‘R’ Us,” he added. They are sold online and at sporting goods stores.
The boy’s mother told WJZ’s media partners at The Baltimore Sun that she has no idea how her son, who’s in 8th grade, got the weapon.
She also complained about being handcuffed and taken from the scene for questioning when she wanted to go to the hospital with her son.
WJZ is still working to get an update on the condition of the boy, who police say suffered non-life threatening injuries.
The other officer involved in the incident was a six-year veteran of the department.
Both were in plainclothes but clearly identified themselves as police, authorities say.