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The Columbus, Ohio Police Department said a “lesson was learned” after an officer responded to a report of two young black males flashing a gun, and discovered one of the boys actually had a BB gun.
Body camera footage showed Officer Peter Casuccio telling the boys, ages 11 and 13, on Saturday that “this is getting kids killed all over the country,” News & Observer reported.
“So we’re driving down the road, right, and they call in and they say there’s two young, male blacks, one with all-red pants and a blue sweatshirt and one wearing red and black. They look really young and they just flashed a gun,” Casuccio told the boys, according to the footage.
Casuccio took the BB gun from the 11-year-old and told him “that thing looks real, bro.” The boys were heard apologizing to the officer.
“You should be sorry, and you should be scared,” Casuccio said.
“Do you think I want to shoot an 11-year-old? Do you think I want to shoot a 13-year-old?” the officers asked the children. “Do I honestly look like the kind of dude that wants to shoot anybody?”
The children replied, “No.”
“But do I look like the type of dude that will shoot somebody?” the officer asked.
“Yes, sir,” the two boys said.
“I pride myself on being a pretty bad hombre because I got to be,” Casuccio said. “Don’t make me.”
The officer told the children that officers were going to drive them home. Casuccio told the 11-year-old’s mom what had happened.
Tielissa Sowell, the mother of the 11-year-old boy, told FOX 28 she was not aware her son had a BB gun and was upset because she could have lost her only child.
“He’s my only child,” Sowell told FOX 28. “I could have lost him, I really could have.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.