(Reuters) – The death of a 12-year-old Cleveland boy fatally shot by police in November has been formally ruled a homicide, according to a county autopsy report released on Friday that found he was struck once in the abdomen.
Tamir Rice, who was black, was shot on Nov. 22 by a white police officer responding to a call of a suspect waving a handgun around in a Cleveland park. The weapon turned out to be a replica that typically fires plastic pellets. The sixth-grader died the next day.
The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s autopsy report said Rice sustained a single wound to the left side of his abdomen that traveled from front to back and lodged in his pelvis.
The shooting came at a time of heightened national scrutiny of police use of force and two days before a grand jury declined to indict a white police officer in the Aug. 9 fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.