COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A grand jury voted on Friday not to indict a white Columbus police officer in the fatal shooting of a black 13-year-old boy after a suspected robbery last year.
The Franklin County grand jury was considering whether Officer Bryan Mason should be charged criminally in the September 2016 shooting of Tyre King. Police have said Mason shot the teen after he pulled a BB gun that looked like a real firearm from his waistband during a foot pursuit.
A county coroner said Tyre died of gunshot wounds to the head and torso and the manner of death was homicide, which is standard in the county when a person is shot, regardless of the circumstances.
Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien released a statement Friday that presents a version of the shooting and details the grand jury process. The statement provides no opinion from O’Brien on the grand jury’s decision that Mason was justified in killing Tyre.
“Officer Mason stated that King was removing the BB pistol, that appeared to be a semi-automatic handgun, from his waistband when Officer Mason shot him three times,” the statement said. “The BB gun was recovered on the ground at the scene several feet from where King laid.”
O’Brien said the grand jury first met on Thursday. His statement said a judge gave the grand jurors instructions on police use of deadly force “derived directly from U.S. and Ohio Supreme Court decisions.” O’Brien said it’s his policy that all fatal police shootings are presented to grand juries.
Attorney Sean Walton issued a statement Friday on behalf Tyre’s family.
“Tyre’s family is saddened and completely dissatisfied with how the entire investigation was handled by the City of Columbus, the Columbus Division of Police and the Franklin County Prosecutor’s Office,” the statement said. “The deliberate indifference for the lives of its’ citizens displayed by the City of Columbus and the pain Tyre’s family has dealt with since his death was only exacerbated by the Franklin County…