"He gave me no choice": First side of the story released from Cleveland cop who shot Tamir Rice

Prosecutor's 224-page report, released Saturday, contains tragic and chilling new details

By Salon Staff
Published June 13, 2015 9:37PM (EDT)
  (AP/Tony Dejak)
(AP/Tony Dejak)

"He gave me no choice."

Those are the first words we've heard from Cleveland police officer Timothy Loehmann since he shot and killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice back in November.

They are included in a 224-page report released Saturday afternoon by a Cleveland-area prosecutor who has been investigating the shooting death. No charges have been filed against the officer, however last week a Cleveland judge did find probable cause for an indictment.

According to the report, Loehmann told another officer that the 12-year old "gave me no choice" but to open fire. "He reached for the gun and there was nothing I could do," he continued.

The gun turned out to be a BB gun.

From WKYC in Cleveland

The often-redacted documents, however, give the public insight into the officer's mindset when he and fellow police officer Frank Garmback arrived at the gazebo. The officers were called to the area amid reports that a man was pointing a gun at people around the rec center.

As Garmback drove off the street and near the gazebo, Loehmann leaps out of the car and within two seconds fires two shots, one of which struck the 12-year-old boy. No witnesses in the sheriff's report reported hearing officers issue warnings before shots were fired. Police say Loehmann only shot after his orders were ignored and Tamir reached for his weapon.

Horribly, the officers were untrained in first aid and unable to help the dying boy. USA Today adds these tragic details:

The agent recalled the failure of officers to provide first aid to Tamir, who was critically injured in the abdomen. Neither officer had a first aid kit or training.

At one point, Tamir mumbled something about his gun. The boy also took the agent's hand.

"He turned over and acknowledged and looked at me, and he like reached for my hand," he said.

The officers, he added, appeared distraught and helpless.

"It's an incredibly disturbing injury to look at," he said. "And ... you could see the level of concern in (the officers). I don't think they knew what to do."

Salon Staff

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Tamir Rice