Cleveland police officer shoots 12-year-old boy

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A 12-year-old boy is fighting for his life after being shot by a police officer when he allegedly pulled a BB gun from his waistband outside a recreation center in Cleveland.

The unnamed youngster was spotted 'waving around' the airsoft gun in the playground area next to Cuddell Recreation Center at Detroit Avenue and West Boulevard at around 3.30pm on Saturday.
A concerned man, who was sat nearby, called 911 and told the dispatcher: 'I’m sitting in the park…there’s a guy in here with a pistol, and it’s probably a fake one, but he’s pointing it at everybody.
'The guy keeps pulling it in and out…it’s probably fake, but he’s scaring the s*** out of people.' 

 Minutes later, two Cleveland Police officers - a rookie and a 10-15 year veteran - arrived at the scene, where they apparently saw the boy pick up the gun from a table and put it in his waistband.
The rookie then asked the boy to put his hands up, at which point the youngster reached into his waistband and pulled out the pistol, Police Patrolmen's Association President Jeffrey Follmer said.

 Despite the 911 caller's prior warning that the gun was likely fake, the officer then fired two shots at the boy, at least one of which hit him in the stomach, according to
The victim was rushed to MetroHealth Medical Center, where he underwent surgery on Saturday evening. He is believed to remain in a critical condition.

 Police later told Fox 8 the weapon the boy was carrying was 'an airsoft type replica gun resembling a semi-automatic pistol.' They added that the gun's orange safety indicator had been removed.
Union officials claimed the officers - one of whom was later taken to hospital with an ankle injury - acted responsibly amid concerns the boy was in possession of a real gun.

However, Deputy Chief of Field Operations Ed Tomba described the incident as 'very, very tragic', saying that the child did not threaten the officer verbally or physically.
'When an officer gives a command, we expect it to be followed,' Mr Tomba said. 'The way it looks like right now, it wasn't followed, but we're going to continue our investigation.'

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