Police said King, an African-American teen, matched the description of a suspect in a reported robbery that had taken place shortly before the incident, and King began to run when police approached him.
According to Police Chief Kim Jacobs, King had been carrying a B.B. gun that “looks practically identical” to the handguns Columbus police carry.
“This is the last thing that a police officer wants to do in their career,” Jacobs stated. “Unfortunately … it becomes necessary at times to defend themselves.”
According to Jacobs, the officer who shot King, Officer Bryan Mason, will be placed on administrative duty, pending an investigation into the matter.
Currently, Mayor Andrew Ginther has called for calm in the city, has also expressed his condolences to King’s family.
“A 13-year-old is dead in the city of Columbus because of our obsession with guns,” Ginther stated.
According to King’s family, Tyre had been a teen involved in football, soccer, hockey, and gymnastics.
The family’s attorneys also said the behavior police described would have been out of character for King.
“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,” lawyer Sean Walton stated.
Recently, accusations have reverberated against police from individuals who have cited parallels between 12-year-old Tamir Rice’s shooting by Ohio police in 2014, and the incident with King Wednesday, as a result of the killing.
“Just like Tamir Rice, #TyreeKing was holding a BB gun,” Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein said, via Twitter.
However, according to Jacobs, it’s too early to draw comparisons, without knowing the full circumstances of the shooting.
“We don’t have enough facts to know anything about how this relates to any other shooting, including Tamir Rice’s,” Jacobs stated.
According to Jacobs, the results of the police investigation will be sent to the county prosecutor, who will likely present the findings to a grand jury, in order to determine whether the officer should be charged in the matter.