The handgun turned out to be an “airsoft” replica toy gun, which shoots pellets in a similar way that a BB gun does. Cleveland police said in a statement that an orange marking designed to make the toys distinguishable from real firearms had been removed.
A man who called 911 told dispatchers before police arrived that the boy was on a swing set and pointing a pistol that was “probably fake” and scaring everyone. “I don’t know if it’s real or not,” the caller said. Jeff Follmer, president of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association, told The Assciated Press that the officers weren’t told the caller thought the gun might be fake.
The Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office and police are investigating the shooting.
The Cuyahoga County medical examiner released Tamir’s name Sunday. An attorney for the family, Timothy Kucharski, said he didn’t know the details of what led to the shooting, saying he would be conducting a parallel investigation.