A 13-year-old boy was shot and wounded by a Baltimore police officer Wednesday while holding what was described by police as a “replica gun,” reports PEOPLE. The boy was being treated for wounds that Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said were non-life threatening.
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The teenager was shot around 4 PM after two intelligence officers in plain clothes and in an unmarked car observed the boy with what they believed to be a gun, Davis said. The officers identified themselves as police, but the boy fled and was pursued on foot by officers.
Following the chase, one of the officers fired at the boy, wounding him, said Davis, not mentioning whether the teen was pointing the gun or menacing the officers. Davis is unsure of how many shots were fired or how many shots struck the teen.
“This is a replica, semi-automatic pistol, and I looked at it myself today; I stood right over top of it. I put my own eyes on it. It’s an absolute, identical replica,” Davis said, according to PEOPLE. “Those police officers had no way of knowing that it was not, in fact, an actual firearm.”
When asked about testimonies from witnesses that describe the teen as laying on the ground when the officer fired his weapon, Davis assured that the position of the boy at the time he was shot would be determined “with absolute certainty.”
Davis disclosed that the boy’s mother admitted to police that she was aware her son had left the house with “a BB gun in his hand.”
The shooting took place on the one-year anniversary of last year’s Baltimore riots, April 27, following the funeral of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old who died after suffering a severe spinal injury while in police custody last April.
There is currently a criminal investigation under way, which as explained by Davis, is normal protocol in any instance where an officer discharges their weapon.
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