Tamir Rice autopsy: Boy with toy gun was shot once by Cleveland cop


The death of Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old Cleveland boy whose toy air gun was mistaken for a real weapon, was ruled a homicide Friday by the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office.

The medical examiner said Tamir was killed by a gunshot that went through his stomach, causing injuries to his intestines, pelvis and a major vein. The finding supports the medical examiner’s initial ruling Nov. 24 that the death was a homicide.

Tamir, who was black, was shot by a white police officer. The shooting is one of three recent cases that have sparked sometimes violent demonstrations around the nation over police treatment of African Americans.


Michael Brown, 18, was shot to death Aug. 9 in Ferguson, Mo., and Eric Garner, 44, died July 17 after police used an apparent chokehold to subdue him on Staten Island, N.Y.

Grand juries in Missouri and on Staten Island decided not to charge the police officers. The Tamir Rice case is pending before a grand jury in Cleveland.

Tamir’s shooting occurred around 3:30 p.m. Nov. 22. The boy was playing at a park about 100 yards from his home.

The 911 transcript released by the city shows that a dispatcher received a call about a person with a gun and sent a police car.

Cleveland Police Officer Timothy Loehmann and his partner arrived at the center. Loehmann jumped out of the car and saw Tamir, who was displaying what turned out to be a toy gun.

The officer fired, hitting Tamir in the body. The boy was taken to MetroHealth Medical Center, where he died at 12:54 a.m. Nov. 23.


Both officers have been placed on limited duty.

At a news conference this week, Tamir’s mother, Samaria Rice, said her son’s friend gave him the toy gun. She also blamed Cleveland police for failing to administer first aid or CPR while her son was on the ground.

According to the medical examiner’s report, Cleveland paramedics began treatment. The autopsy report did not say how long it took them to arrive.

The U.S. Justice Department recently released the results of a nearly two-year investigation of Cleveland police that found its officers use excessive and unnecessary force far too often. The report was completed before the shooting.

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