A 13-year-old black boy fatally shot by police during an investigation into a robbery report was struck three times on his left side, according to autopsy results released Thursday. The report from Franklin County coroner Dr. Anahi Ortiz listed Tyre King’s cause of death as gunshot wounds to the head and torso and the manner of death as homicide, which is standard in the county when a person is shot, regardless of the circumstances.
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The case will go to a grand jury following a police investigation to determine whether officers will face charges. It remains under investigation, police spokeswoman Denise Alex-Bouzounis said.
Tyre’s death heightened tensions over the safety of black people in Ohio’s largest city and added to a list of killings of black males by police that have attracted national attention. Dozens of demonstrators protesting the killing brought a city council meeting to a halt with chants including “Black lives matter!”
The results of the autopsy, done the day after the Sept. 14 shooting, were consistent with a review of Tyre’s body on Sept. 18 by a medical examiner hired by his family.
Because Tyre was shot on the left side, the results indicate he was running away at the time and not posing a threat to police, family attorney Sean Walton said. The medical examiner the family hired came to the same conclusion. Columbus police have declined to comment on this finding.
The family continues to believe the case should be investigated by an outside agency, Walton said.
Tyre was shot after he ran from an officer investigating a reported armed robbery and pulled a BB gun that looked like a real firearm, police said.
The police officer who shot Tyre has returned to the force, although not in his prior assignment as a patrol officer.
Officer Bryan Mason was just two days into a new assignment when he responded to a robbery call in the city’s Olde Town East neighborhood. There he encountered a 19-year-old and Tyre, who fled.
Mason’s personnel file is full of commendations. He had been involved in other shootings, including another fatality, in which he was cleared of wrongdoing.