There were plenty of witnesses at the park. We'll find out soon enough.
It seems that the caller informed the authority that the gun was likely fake, that the perpetrator was a juvenile, though they do not know if that information was given to the responding officers (break down 1). Also the reports say that he reached for his toy gun but had never threatened or pointed it at the cops (break down 2). I do think that if we didn't teach our cops to shoot first and ask questions later that this, and some earlier similar incidents, could have been concluded without loss of life."There's a guy in there with a pistol, you know, it's probably fake, but he's like pointing it at everybody," the caller said.
"He's sitting on a swing right now, but he's pulling it in and out of his pants and pointing it at people," the caller said. "He's probably a juvenile, you know?"
Police said it's not clear if the responding officers received the information about the age of the suspect or the gun being "probably fake."
When the two officers arrived, the boy did not point the air gun at them or otherwise threaten them, Tomba told reporters Sunday.
But he did reach for the air gun, Tomba said.
You know the time is right to take control, we gotta take offense against the status quo
Originally Posted by A. de Tocqueville
What matters is what the responding police thought at that particular instant.
What a few of the past few incidents do indicate is that the unintended consequence of the red tipped toy guns is that it seems to backfire in too many cases.
Along with enabling police to ascertain that an unaltered toy is definitely a toy. (that too might be a problem if I painted the tip of my .44 orange before taking it out on a cop killing mission). But now the presumption is that any toy without the red tip is not a toy.
As for the boy in this case. If you are old enough and smart enough to remove the orange from your toy before setting out to impress your friends, then you ought to be smart enough to know that it might be a bad idea.