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Ohio Police Shoot, Kill 16-Year-Old Boy Holding ‘BB Gun’

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COLUMBUS, Ohio — A teen who was holding what appeared to be a gun was fatally shot by a police officer early Thursday morning in Columbus, authorities said.

Bryan Mitchell Spies, 16, died after the confrontation at Cabela’s, a sporting goods store near downtown Columbus, the Franklin County Prosecutor’s Office said in a statement.

The weapon appeared to be a BB gun and was “portable,” the prosecutor’s office said. Spies died after “the deputy involved officer fired one shot in response to a gun threat” around 2:30 a.m. ET, it said.

The nature of the contact between Spies and the police was not clear. It was not known if he was alone or with a companion.

Spies was identified as a minor by Columbus police. He’s not being named because his identity had not been released by the prosecutor’s office, which operates in the state. Spies was described as being black.

“We are holding off on releasing other details until all the investigation has been completed,” the statement said.

Columbus police did not return a call for comment.

Authorities did not immediately release the name of the officer who fired his weapon or the department that he works for.

It was not clear if the officer, whose name has not been released, was white or not.

A petition to require police to wear body cameras in Columbus had received more than 10,000 signatures as of Wednesday.

State Rep. Tobias Ellwood, a Democrat, filed the bill in January, which was filed when the city was criticized over the shooting death of an unarmed man named Tyre King in September.

A grand jury declined to indict the officers involved in King’s shooting.

The youth’s death was the second fatal shooting involving a police officer in Columbus in the past week. The first involved a 13-year-old boy.

On April 13, an officer shot and killed 11-year-old O’Bryan Spikes after he pointed a gun at him and others in a park. A .40-caliber handgun was found at the scene, police said.

Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther issued a statement, saying: “As I have done in the past, I will closely follow the results of the investigation into the shooting at Cabela’s. As this young man’s family and friends grieve this very painful loss, their emotions should be focused on them. The city will support them and ensure they receive the resources necessary to help them heal.”

At least 65 Ohio law enforcement officers have been killed in the line of duty so far this year, according to a Times of Ohio analysis.

The shooter in the Thursday shooting has been placed on administrative leave.

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