Updated 8:44 AM EDT, Wed, Aug 18, 2021

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Toy Gun-toting 12-Year-Old Boy Critical after Being Shot by Cops

Cuddell Recreation Center

(Photo : Google Maps) Cuddell Recreation Center

A 911 caller reported that a male youth was brandishing a BB gun while playing outside a fun center in Cleveland on Saturday afternoon but acknowledged it could be a fake or toy gun only. However, despite the advanced warning, the two Cleveland cops who responded to the call fired two shots. One hit the boy in the stomach and the boy is now fighting for his life.

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The boy is now at MetroHealth Medical Center after he underwent surgery on Saturday evening. He is in critical condition, reports Daily Mail.

The concerned caller told the 911 operator that he was sitting at the park next to the Cuddell Recreation Centre at the corner of Detroit Avenue and West Boulevard when he saw the boy pointing the pistol at everyone, which scared park visitors.

Minutes after the call, the two police officers arrived. According to Jeffrey Follmer, president of the Police Patrolmen's Association, the new cop asked the pistol-waving boy to place his hands up and the youth placed one hand on his pants' waistband and pulled out the gun. The boy's action prompted the two officers to fire immediately, thinking the kid had a real weapon.

Samaria Rice, the mother of the 12-year-old boy, said that her son did not have access to a real gun at their house which is just across the Cuddell Recreation Center. The replica gun he was playing with looked like a semiautomatic pistol, said Jennifer Ciaccia, spokeswoman of Cleveland's Division of Police Investigators, the New York Times reports.

According to Deputy Chief Ed Tomba of Cleveland Police, the youth didn't threaten the responding cops or point the fake gun at them. There was also no verbal exchange or confrontation.

The Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office is determining through an investigation if the two cops were justified in firing their guns at the boy. The two are under administrative leave to comply with police protocol for officers involved in shooting incidents.

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