The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office made the announcement today, which means that the Cleveland boy’s death was officially caused by an outside source, in this case, Officer Timothy Loehmann of the Cleveland Police Department.
“It is my opinion that Tamir E. Rice, a 12-year-old Black adolescent male, died as a result of a gunshot wound to the abdomen which injured his inferior vena cava, intestines, and pelvis,” wrote Medical Examiner Thomas P. Gilson. “The decedent was shot by law enforcement during legal intervention.”
Loehmann fatally shot Rice at a Cleveland park on November 22 shortly after 911 operators received a call that a Black “guy” was waving a gun around at patrons. According to video surveillance, Loehmann immediately shot Rice upon arriving at the park, only later realizing that the boy’s gun was a toy. Rice died the following day.
Rice’s death, which occurred less than a week after the Ferguson grand jury’s non-indictment of the officer who killed Michael Brown, has fueled the unyielding protests that are happening across the country. Rice’s mother plans on participating in the National Action Network’s march on Washington this Saturday.
Loehmann is currently on paid administrative leave while the Cleveland Police Department conducts its investigation. The Rice family is seeking a conviction.