Prosecutors on Saturday released the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s investigation into the death of Tamir Rice, revealing interviews with witnesses and Timothy Loehmann, the cop who shot the 12-year-old boy.
County Prosecutor Tim McGinty released some 250 pages of investigation material just after 3 p.m., according to WKYC. One of the statements released was made by Loehmann, who said he had “no choice” but to shoot Tamir when he “reached for his gun,” which turned out to be a BB gun.
“He gave me no choice,” Loehmann told another officer just minutes after he shot Tamir on Nov. 22, according to the report. “He reached for the gun and there was nothing I could do.”
The sheriff’s office didn’t offer an opinion on the criminality of Loehmann’s actions that day, but the material will be forwarded to a grand jury, which will determine if charges should be brought against the officer. A Cleveland Municipal Court judge said Thursday that there was probable cause to charge Loehmann with involuntary manslaughter, reckless homicide, negligent homicide and dereliction of duty. But McGinty reiterated that he’ll leave the decision to the grand jury.
“Transparency (i.e., the actual facts) is essential for an intelligent discussion of the important issues raised by this case,” McGinty said in a statement released with the new material. “We are now in the process of reviewing this report and deciding what additional investigation is needed. That is the way that every significant investigation works: The Sheriff’s investigation is a good solid foundation that will support the grand jury’s own investigation.
“Tamir’s family, the people of this community and the officers involved deserve nothing less than the most thorough investigation and analysis possible,” he said.
The investigation documents show that Loehmann and responding officers thought Tamir’s gun was real, and reveals the mindset of witnesses and officers on the scene. It also shows that Loehmann leaped out of his patrol vehicle and two seconds passed before he shot Tamir twice.