Who Was Tyree King? The Columbus, Ohio Teenager Died Because He Had A BB Gun


On Wednesday, Sept. 14, local police in Columbus, Ohio responded to an alleged armed robbery, fatally shooting a 13-year-old African-American boy. Officers shot the boy after he reportedly pulled a BB gun from his waistband. But who was Tyree King? The young boy tragically lost his life on Wednesday night.

King was just 13 years old, making him the second-youngest person to be killed by police this year. His death comes nearly two years after 12-year-old Tamir Rice was shot and killed by police at a Cleveland park while playing with a pellet gun. According to a local NBC News affiliate, he was an eighth-grade student at the Linden-McKinley STEM Academy in Columbus. Heavy reported that the Columbus School District is offering counseling services on site for King's classmates.

A Facebook page called the Columbus, Ohio Remembrance Page shared a photo and message about King on Sept. 15. The post reads, "13 year old Tyree King was shot and killed yesterday. Keep his family and friends in your prayers. Remember you are no one's judge or jury so please be respectful. Rest peacefully young man."

The words "you are no one's judge or jury" are important to keep in mind as we think about this most recent fatal police shooting. The experiences of far too many victims of police violence have been scrutinized and subject to debate time and time again, rather than taking the time to remember the individual's life and their loved ones.

On Thursday, people took to social media to express their sadness over King's death. One person shared on Twitter, "There is no need for this! He was a 13yo kid." New York Daily News writer Shaun King wrote, "Devastated. Just learned that police in Columbus, Ohio shot & killed a 13 y/o Black boy named #TyreeKing last night."

Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther said during a press conference on Thursday, "We ought to be shocked and outraged as a community, in the safest big city in America, that we have a 13-year-old dead ... it’s unacceptable."

We cannot keep standing by as these instances of police violence continue.