CLEVELAND -- The FOX 8 I-Team has obtained police video showing the tense moments when South Euclid police confronted two 12 year olds a 911 caller said had been pointing a gun at cars.
Much about this case seemed very similar to the case of 12-year-old Tamir Rice in Cleveland in 2014. That turned deadly, and it’s still making headlines. This time, however, the suspects surrendered and no shots were fired.
In the South Euclid incident, a grandmother called police to say someone was pointing a gun at passing cars. She said the gunman even came to the back of her car with her grandkids inside.
Video shows police rolling up on two young guys, and officers had no idea how young they were. You hear an officer tell the suspects to put their hands on their heads, and you see them do it.
Then an officer finds a BB gun that looked like a powerful .40 caliber handgun.
The officer can be heard saying, “Look at that thing. You're pointing it at people. It's scaring them to death." The boy responds, "I didn't point it at nobody."
Police find out the boys are just 12. And one officer asks, “You want to live until you're 13?”
In the Tamir Rice case, a 911 caller said a young man had been waving a gun. Cleveland police arrived and shot and killed him. Criminal investigators found the boy had reached for the gun, and they cleared the officers involved. Nonetheless, the case still sparks protests against the police.
South Euclid officer Joe DiLillo spoke about why he believed this case ended peacefully. He said, “Officer Smoot exited the vehicle, maintained cover, and informed the suspects to keep their hands visible. And if you notice by looking at the camera, both suspects, they didn't run. They didn't reach for anything."
This incident happened last week. Both boys will face charges in juvenile court. Police say one even lied about his identity.
The video showed that officers tried to get the kids to understand the seriousness of all this even before getting in the police cars. One officer can be heard saying, "That's a good way to get yourself shot. You got a whole life to live."