A woman holds up a picture of Tamir Rice, the 12 year old boy fatally shot on Nov. 22 by a rookie police officer, during a protest at the Department of Justice in Washington, Monday, Dec. 1, 2014.
The rookie Cleveland police officer who shot 12-year-old Tamir Rice "had no choice," his father said in an interview on Monday night.
"'I was right there and he went for the gun,'" Fred Loehmann recalled his son, Tim Loehmann, as saying after the incident. "'I had no choice.'"
The younger Loehmann, who is white, was just eight months on the job when he shot the 12-year-old boy, who is black. Rice was armed with only a pellet gun at Cleveland's Cudell Recreation Center on Nov. 22, and the police officer shot him just two seconds after arriving on scene. Police officials say the gun was lacking an orange safety marker to show it was fake.
The officer was in shock immediately after the incident, his father said, but is now "living his life" and doing "pretty well."
The police department is investigating the officer's use of deadly force, and the county prosecutor has said the case will be presented to a grand jury to decide whether any charges are merited.
Loehmann and his partner, 46-year-old Frank Garmback, have returned to work from administrative leave, but are not back on patrol.
Rice died in the hospital one day after the shooting.
One Cleveland city council member declared the shooting "a clear miscarriage of justice," while others called it unjustified.
"After seeing the video, it drove home a clear miscarriage of justice," Councilman Jeffrey Johnson said, according to a report on Cleveland.com. "The death of Tamir Rice should not have happened, did not need to happen, and something like this should never happen again."
"The little boy just wanted to give the gun over to him," Councilman Kevin Conwell added. "That little boy could have grown up to be another President Barack Obama, but he was killed."
Tags: POLICE, TAMIR RICE, U.S., US & World