COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Police on Saturday arrested a suspect who was with a 13-year-old Ohio boy shortly before the teen was fatally shot by a policeman investigating a reported armed robbery.
Demetrius Braxton, 19, had told The Columbus Dispatch he was with his friend Tyre King on Wednesday night and that Tyre had a BB gun that looked like a real firearm and wanted to rob someone for money.
Braxton was interviewed then and released without charges but was arrested on a robbery charge Saturday afternoon near the Ohio State University campus, Columbus police said.
It’s not clear whether Braxton has an attorney.
Police said they’re still looking for others who may have been with Braxton when the alleged robbery occurred.
Witnesses reported that a group of people — one witness suggested there were seven or eight — robbed a man of $10 at gunpoint Wednesday night east of downtown Columbus. Authorities say officers investigating the report spotted several males who matched the description of the suspects and tried to talk to them.
Braxton told the newspaper that he ran away with Tyre, and police told them to get down. He said they did, but then Tyre got up and ran and was shot.
Columbus police say Tyre pulled a weapon form his waistband that looked like a real handgun. They have refused to comment on how Braxton’s recollection compares with police officers’ accounts of the situation.
Both the police and the attorneys for Tyre’s family have publicly pleaded for anyone with information about what happened to come forward.
Family attorney Sean Walton said some of the witness accounts so far contradict the police narratives. He’s called for an independent investigation.
Authorities say the pending police investigation into the shooting will be presented for a grand jury to determine whether charges are merited.
The officer who fired, nine-year police veteran Bryan Mason, was put on administrative leave.
The local police union president has said Mason did what he had to do.