More details are slowly emerging about the 13-year-old Black child gunned down by police in Columbus, Ohio early last week.
Tyre King was fatally shot by police on Sept. 14 after officers mistook his BB gun for a real gun. Questionable details of what led to the shooting are still under review, but an independent medical examiner’s autopsy gives new insight into how the young boy might have died.
According to The Guardian, King’s family chose to hire an independent forensic pathologist to examine the number, characteristics and location of gunshot wounds on Tyre’s body. Lawyers for the family confirmed that the local coroner’s office had already completed an autopsy on young King, but the results wouldn’t be made public for another 6 weeks. That’s when relatives employed the help of Dr. Francisco Diaz, a medical examiner from Wayne County, Michigan.
In his notes, Diaz stated, “Based on the location and the direction of the wound paths, it is more likely than not that Tyre King was in the process of running away from the shooter or shooters when he suffered all three gunshot wounds.”
The medical examiner went on to describe King as a “small-framed adolescent boy, standing 5’0″ and weighing less than 100 pounds.”
The young boy was shot and killed as police responded to a report of an armed robbery on the evening of Sept. 14. When they arrived on the scene, authorities said they saw two teens who matched the description of the robbery suspects with young King. The suspects fled on foot, as Officer Bryan Mason quickly caught up with the juvenile. Mason claimed King pulled the BB gun from his waistband as he approached, after which the child was shot “multiple times.”
Diaz’s notes stated that King suffered gunshot wounds to the temple, collar bone and left flank — any of which could have caused his death.
According to The Guardian, Officer Mason has since been placed on administrative leave and will undergo psychological counseling.
“Based on this new information and as more facts emerge, the family asks for the public to
continue to withhold final judgment until all the facts are known and vetted,” the King family said in a statement. “[We] continue to request a full, thorough and independent investigation by an outside law enforcement agency and are requesting that the Columbus Police Department and the Franklin County Prosecutor’s Office remove themselves from any involvement in the investigation.”
Since the shooting, King’s friend, 19-year-old Demetrius Braxton, has been criminally charged for his role in the robbery that led to the fatal shooting. The Columbus Dispatch reports that Braxton was arrested and charged with robbery, a second-degree felony offense in the state of Ohio.
The young man told the publication that King had wanted to rob someone of their money and was present with him on the night of the shooting.
According to Columbus’ ABC 6, police are still searching for people who may have been with Braxton and King during the robbery.