A boy in East Baltimore was shot by a Baltimore police detective on the afternoon of April 27 who mistook the boy’s toy gun for a semiautomatic pistol.
Dedric Colvin, whose mother describes him as an eighth-grader at City Springs Middle School, says Colvin was shot once in the shoulder and once in the leg, the Baltimore Sun reported.
The incident happened in the 1100 block of E. Baltimore St. on Wednesday at approximately 4:10pm.
Police said in a statement:
Two Baltimore Police Officers were in the area of Aisquith Street and Baltimore Street when they observed a male with a handgun. The officers began to chase the suspect on foot and at the conclusion of the chase a shooting occurred. The suspect, a 13-year old male, was transported to an area hospital for treatment with non-life threatening injuries. The officers were not injured during the incident.
According to Police Commissioner Kevin Davis, the officers got out of their vehicle and identified themselves as officers. But instead of cooperating, Colvin ran from them, resulting in the 150 yard chase.
“They got out of their car and they engaged a person who had what looked like a gun in his hand, Davis said. “I mean, come on. That’s what we’re supposed to do. That’s what cops do.”
The weapon turned out to be spring-air-powered BB gun.
Davis believes the whole incident could have been avoided, adding that the boy “had every opportunity to drop the gun.”
“He had every opportunity to stop, put his hands in the air, comply with the instructions of the police officers,” he told the Sun.
Davis also admitted that the shooting wasn’t intentional, at least not at first.
“No police officer in Baltimore wants to shoot a 13-year-old, but police officers here and elsewhere are charged by us, by our community, with going after bad guys with guns,” he said. “We can’t allow someone to walk down the street in broad daylight anywhere in Baltimore with what looks to be a semiautomatic pistol in their hand.”
Wednesday’s shooting hits very close to home for Baltimore residents following the death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice, who was shot by officers in November 2014 while holding a toy gun in Cleveland. His injures, however, were fatal.
Doctors at MetroHealth Medical Center conducted emergency surgery on Rice, but he did not survive.
Rice who stood 5-foot-7 was pronounced dead nine and a half hours after he was shot, according to Cleveland.