WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Newly released body cam footage from the Columbus Police Department shows the tense moment an officer realized he had pulled his weapon on a couple of kids with a realistic-looking BB gun.
Officer Peter Casuccio received a call that there were "two young male blacks" that had "just flashed a gun" while he was driving on Saturday. When he arrived at the scene, one of the boys "freaked out and started pulling the gun out of his waistband," according to Casuccio, before dropping the gun quickly on the sidewalk.
"This is getting kids killed all over the country," Cascuccio said to the boys.
The two boys, who turned out to be 11 and 13 years old, sounded shaken up after understanding the gravity of the situation and apologized to the officer.
"You should be sorry and you should be scared," Casuccio said.
The 11-year-old boy then turned to his friend, "I didn't want him to shoot."
"I know you didn't want me to shoot," Casuccio responded. "Do you think I want to shoot an 11-year-old? Do you think I want to shoot a 13-year-old?"
Afterwards, Casuccio drove to the 11-year-old boy's home and explained what had happened to his mother.
"Regardless of what people say about the dudes wearing this uniform," Casuccio said. "We care, we legitimately care, and the last thing I want to do is shoot an 11-year-old because your life hasn't even gotten started yet."
Casuccio urged the boy to think about the idea before he went to bed.
"I could've killed you," Casuccio said. "You could be gone. Everything you wanted to do in this life could be over."
In the last few years, officers in Ohio have fatally shot young, black men saying they mistook toy or BB guns for real weapons. In 2014, 11-year-old Tamir Rice was shot and killed at a Cleveland park after touching a fake gun at his waist. In 2016, a Columbus police officer killed 13-year-old Tyre King after the boy pulled a BB gun from his waistband.