Officer who shot boy had no choice, cop’s dad says

Cleveland, Ohio police shooting
Cleveland Police Deputy Chief Ed Tomba, right, shows surveillance video of the weekend police shooting of Tamir Rice during a news conference Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014, in Cleveland. The 12-year-old was fatally shot by a Cleveland police officer Saturday after he reportedly pulled a fake gun at the city park. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)

CLEVELAND (AP) – The father of a Cleveland policeman who fatally shot a 12-year-old says the officer thought the boy’s pellet gun was a real firearm and said he had no choice.

The Nov. 22 shooting of Tamir Rice by 26-year-old police rookie Tim Loehmann sparked protests in the area. Surveillance video shows Loehmann firing within 2 seconds of a patrol car stopping near Tamir, who reached in his waistband for what turned out to be a pellet gun.

Loehmann’s father, Fred Loehmann, tells the Northeast Ohio Media Group that the officer didn’t know how young the boy was.

He says his son is doing “pretty well” but that the family has received threats since police identified Loehmann.

Through their lawyer’s spokesman, Tamir’s relatives declined to comment on any details about Loehmann.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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