Police shot and killed a black teenager in Columbus, Ohio, on Wednesday night following a reported armed robbery.
Officers from the Columbus Police Department responded to a report of an armed robbery involving multiple suspects, according to The Associated Press. When they arrived on the scene, the unidentified victim said a group of young men had tried to mug him, The Columbus Dispatch reported.
The victim told police that at least one of the robbers had a gun.
The officers saw three males matching the victim’s description of the suspects and approached for an interview.
The suspects fled, prompting a police pursuit, AP reported.
Police told WBNS-TV, the local CBS affiliate, that the officers followed the suspects into an alley and tried to take them into custody. When one of the suspects allegedly pulled a gun from his waistband, Officer Brian Mason opened fire, USA Today reported.
King’s weapon was later determined to be a BB gun with an attached laser sight, police said.
The other male suspect in the alley, Demetrius Braxton, 19, was taken into custody for questioning and later released pending further investigation, per the New York Daily News. He was not injured during the shooting.
Braxton told the Dispatch that King wanted to rob someone for cash and that his gun looked real.
“I was in the situation,” Braxton said. “We robbed somebody, the people I was with.”
Neither of the officers involved was wounded in the encounter. Mason, who is white, is a nine-year veteran of the force, the local NBC affiliate WCMH reported.
The officers were not wearing body cameras, however, police will look for surveillance video in the area that may have captured the shooting, Chief Kim Jacobs said in a news conference.
Authorities are also searching for suspects in the robbery. The incident remains under investigation.