A police union leader says the Ohio officer who fatally shot a 13-year-old boy while investigating a reported armed robbery is a well-respected policeman who did what he had to do in that circumstance.
Columbus police say Officer Bryan Mason repeatedly shot Tyre King on Wednesday night after the teen ran from investigators and pulled out a BB gun that looked like a real firearm.
Jason Pappas, the president of the police union representing Mason, said Friday it's a situation no officer wants to encounter.
The case started with a 911 call about the robbery. Police say officers followed potential suspects into an alley, and Tyre pulled a weapon from his waistband and was shot.
Columbus Police Chief Kim Jacobs shows reporters a photo of boy's BB gun (ABC News)
Mason is on administrative leave as the shooting is investigated.
A friend of King says the 13-year-old boy had a BB gun that looked like a real firearm and ran from police. Demetrius Braxton, 19, told The Columbus Dispatch he had run away with Tyre and was with him when the shooting occurred. Braxton says police told them to get down. He says they did, but then Tyre got up and ran and was shot.
Braxton was interviewed by police but not charged. A spokesman for Columbus police says they won't comment on how Braxton's comments compare with the officers' accounts of what happened.
Evidence from Wednesday's shooting will automatically be presented to a grand jury.