*The police officers involved in the fatal shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice have been identified.
The Associated Press reports that Cleveland police revealed that 26-year-old Timothy Loehmann, who was appointed to the force this year, was the officer who fired on Rice. The other officer named was 46-year-old Frank Garmback, who has been with the department since 2008.
According to police, Rice was told to raise his hands three times and then reached into his waistband for what appeared to be a firearm. Police later determined it was an airsoft gun — which shoots small plastic pellets — that did not have an orange safety indicator at the end of the barrel, the AP noted.
in an interview with Cleveland.com, Tim Loehmann’s father, Fred, said his son told him, “I was right there and he went for the gun. I had no choice.”
Rice, who was shot Saturday, ultimately died at a hospital the next day. The tragedy resulted as officers responded to a call about someone with a gun at a playground in Cleveland. A video of the shooting was made available to media later.
In addition to identifying Loehman and Garmback, Cleveland police released a compressed surveillance video of Rice’s confrontation with the officers at the request of the young boy’s family. Although the clip shows the confrontation in stuttered image, there is no sound. In addition to the video, police released the audio from a 911 call reporting a gun and a dispatcher directing officers to the scene.
“This is not an effort to exonerate. It’s not an effort to show the public that anybody did anything wrong,” Deputy Chief Edward Tomba told the AP. “This is an obvious tragic event where a young member of our community lost their life. We’ve got two officers that were out there protecting the public that just had to, you know, do something that nobody wants to do.”
Although he stated that the officers involved have been interviewed and police have obtained statements from several other people Tomba refused to speak on what the officers said in their statements. That included whether Rice made any comments to them.
As a result of the shooting an investigation of the officer’s use of force is underway as well as protests referencing the incident and other police-involved shootings.
Tomba stated that social media is being monitored by police to find any indications of other potential witnesses. He goes to say that the authorities are pleading for people to come forward if they have information related to the case, no matter if it’s just a little bit of information.