The funeral for a 13-year-old African-American boy fatally shot by a white police officer in Columbus, Ohio, is set for Saturday.
Friends and family of Tyre King will mourn him at a funeral service at the First Church of God in Columbus. The service, scheduled for Saturday morning, is open to the public.
The family said through its attorneys in announcing the funeral this week that it stood with recent police shooting victims and their families in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Tulsa, Oklahoma.
King’s shooting on Sept. 14 along with those in Charlotte and Tulsa are the latest to stir passions in the United States over the police use of force against black males. The deaths have led to a broad debate on race and justice in the United States and given rise to the Black Lives Matter movement.
According to the Columbus Police Department, King was shot multiple times after he appeared to pull a handgun from his waistband during an encounter with police following a report of an armed robbery.
It was later determined the gun in question was an air pistol that fires BBs – small, metal pellets, not bullets. Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther said the BB gun looks “almost identical” to the 9 mm Glock semi-automatic handguns carried by city police.
However, a forensic report prepared by a medical examiner hired by the family said the teenager was shot while running away. The family also has said witnesses’ accounts did not match what the police were reporting and has called for an independent investigation.
The Franklin County Coroner’s Office has said a determination on the cause and manner of King’s death was pending.
The family’s forensic report described King as 5 feet tall and weighing less than 100 pounds.
King was one of three suspects police confronted after responding to reports of an armed robbery. Columbus police officer Bryan Mason, the nine-year veteran who shot King during the encounter in an alley, has been placed on administrative leave.
(Reporting by Aaron Josefcyk; Writing by Ben Klayman; Editing by Matthew Lewis)