Police in the US city of Cleveland shot and killed a 12-year-old African American boy waving around what turned out to be a toy gun at a playground, officials and reports said Sunday.
The shooting in Ohio comes amid high racial tensions in the United States, with a grand jury set to announce whether a white policeman will be indicted for the fatal shooting in August of an unarmed black teenager in the St Louis suburb of Ferguson in Missouri.
Ohio was also the scene of another fatal shooting in August, when police responding to a 911 call shot and killed a black man, John Crawford, in a Walmart store while he was carrying a toy gun sold there.
In this latest incident, officers called to the scene Saturday fired at the boy twice, hitting him at least once in the stomach, after reports that he was pointing a gun at people.
The boy, identified by the county medical examiner`s office as Tamir Rice, died early Sunday, local newspaper The Plain Dealer reported.
One of the police officers was in his first year in the force, it said.
Audio released of a 911 call made to police records the caller saying the gun was “probably fake.”
Both officers have been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation, as is standard in such cases, Cleveland police said in a statement.
“Upon arrival on scene, officers located the suspect and advised him to raise his hands,” the statement said.
“The suspect did not comply with the officers` orders and reached to his waistband for the gun.
“Shots were fired and the suspect was struck in the torso.”