Eighth Grader Shot By Cops Had Pellet Gun

Pellet gun looked like a real weapon and student would not put it down.

ByABC News
January 4, 2012, 1:36 PM

Jan. 4, 2012 — -- An eighth grader was shot and killed by Texas cops today when he refused to put down a gun, but police later determined the boy had been armed with a harmless pellet gun.

Brownsville police rushed to the Cummings Middle School around 8 a.m. today when school officials called 911 to report a student with a gun. The school was promptly locked down.

"The student engaged the officers and was shot," according to a statement from the Brownsville Independent School District.

"He had the weapon in his hand and he pointed the weapon at the officers," Brownsville Police Detective Jose Trevino told ABCNews.com.

The student was identified as 15-year-old Jaime Gonzalez.

Kip V. Johnson Hodge, a spokeswoman from the office of Cameron County Justice of the Peace, told ABCNews.com that Gonzalez was pronounced dead at the hospital. An autopsy has been ordered and officials are awaiting the results.

"The motive and his background are not going to be released yet because it's still an active investigation," Trevnio said.

It wasn't until later that police determined that Gonzalez's weapon was a pellet gun that looked like a real handgun.

Interim Brownsville Police Chief Orlando Rodriguez told the Associated Press Gonzalez had "plenty of opportunities" to lower the weapon, but "didn't want to."

Rodriguez says two officers fired three shots and struck Gonzalez at least twice.

No other students or employees were injured.

Investigators searched the "entire school room by room," according to the police statement. The lockdown was lifted approximately two hours later.

Students and employees from the school were relocated to the gym at Porter High School. Parents who wished to pick up their children were told to report to the school. Counselors were on hand to talk to students, parents and employees.

The school has approximately 750 students enrolled. Brownsville is in the southern tip of Texas, approximately 280 miles south of Austin.