COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A 13-year-old Ohio boy fatally shot by a police officer investigating a report of an armed robbery was remembered at his funeral Saturday as someone with a special glow.
“He lit up a room. He demanded your attention,” said Michael Bell, who coached Tyre King on his youth football team.
Hundreds of mourners filed by a white casket draped with yellow roses at a Columbus church before a hearse carried the boy’s body to a cemetery where he was laid to rest, The Columbus Dispatch reported.
Columbus police officer Bryan Mason, a member of the department for almost 10 years, shot Tyre, multiple times on Sept. 14 after the boy ran from investigators and pulled out a BB gun that looked like a real firearm, police have said.
Mason, who is white, was put on administrative leave immediately after the shooting — standard procedure after police shootings.
The boy’s death has inflamed tensions over the safety of blacks in Ohio’s largest city and adds to a list of killings of black males by police that are attracting national attention.
Another funeral was scheduled Saturday night in Oklahoma for 40-year-old Terence Crutcher, who was shot and killed by a Tulsa police officer on Sept. 16. The officer was charged with manslaughter in the shooting of Crutcher, who was unarmed.
In Columbus, attorneys for the Tyre’s family have called for an independent investigation and have questioned Mason’s involvement in other shootings, including another fatality.
The head of the local police union has said Mason did what he was trained to do under the circumstances.
Evidence in the shooting investigation will be presented to a grand jury to determine if the officer’s actions were justified or charges are warranted.
Tyre was in eighth grade, played sports and was in a young scholars program, the family’s attorneys said.
Benita Farve, pastor of the King family’s church, said during the eulogy that the community needed make changes to help a “generation of kids who are totally out of control.”
“How long are we going to let pain and anger control us? How long are we going to be the victims?” she said. “When are things going to change and we’re going to be victors?”