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Death of Tamir Rice, 12-year-old shot by Cleveland police, ruled a homicide

(Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office)

Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old boy who was shot and killed by a Cleveland police officer last month, died from a “gunshot wound of torso with injuries of major vessel, intestines and pelvis,” according to an autopsy released on Friday. The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s report ruled Rice’s the death a homicide.

The African American boy was fatally shot by a white Cleveland police officer on Nov. 22. Officers had responded to a 911 call reporting a person pointing a gun — which turned out to be a toy pistol missing its orange safety cap. Video footage of the shooting shows Officer Timothy Loehmann, 26, shooting Tamir within seconds of arriving on the scene.

Editor's note: This video contains graphic content. The family of Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old boy who was shot and killed by police while carrying a BB gun in a Cleveland park, authorized the release of surveillance footage showing the incident. (Video: Cleveland Police)

Medical Examiner Thomas P. Gilson wrote in the report that “it is my opinion that Tamir E. Rice, a 12-year-old black adolescent male, died as a result of a gunshot wound to the abdomen which injured his inferior vena cava, intestines, and pelvis. The decedent was shot by law enforcement during legal intervention.”

The Rice family has filed a wrongful death suit, arguing that Loehmann and his partner, Frank Garmback, used excessive force against the 12-year-old. Among other things, the lawsuit claims that Tamir lay on the ground after being shot in the abdomen for four minutes before receiving medical attention. He died the next day.

Two years ago, Loehmann struggled to complete his firearms qualification training, records show. “He could not follow simple directions, could not communicate clear thoughts nor recollections, and his handgun performance was dismal,” a 2012 memo from Jim Polak, deputy chief of the Independence Police Department, reads.

The full autopsy report is below, via WKYC.

Full Tamir Rice Autospy Report