The father of the rookie Cleveland police office who fatally shot 12-year-old Tamir Rice recalled how his son described his quick reaction and his claim that he had “no choice” but to fire.
On November 22 tragedy struck the Ohio city when an officer responded to a call that a young boy was waving a gun at people in the park.
It was later discovered that the weapon was fake but with the orange safety indicator removed from the gun, it was difficult to identify the would-be weapon as a toy.
When officers responded to the scene, the young boy allegedly reached for his waistband causing one officer to fire his weapon.
The officer who fired was identified as Tim Loehmann and his father, Fred Loehmann, is speaking up on his son’s behalf in the midst of numerous death threats reportedly being hurled at the family.
Loehmann said his son acted quickly because he didn’t think he had another other choice.
“I was right there and he went for the gun,” Loehmann recalled his son telling him, according to the Northeast Ohio Media Group. “I had no choice.”
Rice’s funeral has been scheduled for Wednesday.
Surveillance video captured the tragic incident and for some people it suggests that Loehmann did have other choices.
Despite some reports suggesting the officer ordered the young boy to put the gun down several times, surveillance video shows the officer firing only a few seconds after the police car rolls into the frame, causing many people to believe that Rice would still be alive if the rookie officer wasn’t quite so anxious to pull the trigger.
The facts of the case are debatable and both of the officers were placed on administrative leave as the department launched an investigation into the matter.
Some people have argued that the officers could have parked farther away from the young boy while others questioned why the officers didn’t reach for a taser instead of a gun.
Others say the public’s frustration should fall on the shoulders of the 911 dispatcher who was told by the caller that the gun was believed to be fake but then failed to relay that information to officers.
Meanwhile, there are also questions surrounding what the officers did after the shooting as opposed to the series of events leading up to the tragedy.
For nearly four minutes, the officers stood and watched the 12-year-old boy writhe in pain after being shot in the stomach and failed to offer any first aid.
It wasn’t until a detective who was in the area showed up that Rice finally received any sort of medical attention, according to the Daily Mail.
Now there are questions as to whether or not those four minutes could have given officers enough time to save the boy’s life.
Loehmann’s father just wants the public to know that these past few weeks haven’t been easy for the officer who was reportedly in a state of shock following the shooting.
Loehmann has been able to return to work since the shooting but he is not back on patrol duty just yet.