Baltimore Police Shoot 13-Year-Old Boy Who Was Holding a Replica Handgun

Baltimore Police Shoot 13-Year-Old Boy Holding a Replica Hand Gun
Replica weapon 13-year-old boy was carrying
Courtesy Baltimore Police Department

04/27/2016 AT 09:25 PM EDT

Baltimore police opened fire on a 13-year-old boy on Wednesday, leaving the teen with non life-threatening injuries after he was seen with what officers believed to be a handgun, PEOPLE confirms.

In a statement on Facebook, Baltimore PD, clarified that the gun was actually fake, but was an exact replica of a semi-automatic pistol.

No officers were injured in the incident.

During a later press conference shared on Periscope on Wednesday, Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis told reporters that two plain clothes, intelligence detectives in an unmarked vehicle spotted the boy with the weapon. The officers identified themselves as police, at which point the teen ran off – never dropping the gun – and a foot chase ensued, lasting for about 150 yards.

Following the chase, one of the officers discharged his gun, hitting the boy. Davis said he was unsure of how many shots were fired or how many shots struck the teenager.

"This is a replica, semi-automatic pistol, and I looked at it myself today; I stood right over top of it. I put my own eyes on it. It's an absolute, identical replica," Davis said. "Those police officers had no way of knowing that it was not, in fact, an actual firearm."

Davis also revealed that the boy's mom later admitted to police that she was aware her son had left the house with "a BB gun in his hand." He also added that his officers were doing exactly what was expected of them as there's been an uptick of gun violence, homicides and non-fatal shootings in Baltimore, as well as an increase in gun-arrests since the start of the year.

There is currently a criminal investigation under way, which Davis explained is normal protocol anytime an officer discharges their weapon, regardless of if the bullet strikes someone.

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When asked about testimonies from witnesses that describe the teen as laying on the ground when the officer fired his weapon, Davis said that the position of the boy at the time he was shot will be determined "with absolute certainty" when detectives and crime scene investigators finish their investigation.

"I promise you that our special investigations response team is comprised of top notch, experienced detectives who realize the importance of their investigative responsibilities," Davis said. "Investigating police-involved shootings is a sacred obligation of this police department and we're gonna get it right. Then we're gonna communicate that back to our community."

The impact of today's shooting wasn't lost on the community or the police commissioner, as April 27 is the anniversary of last year's Baltimore riots following the funeral of Freddie Gray, the Baltimore man who died after suffering a severe spinal injury while in police custody last April.

"Today's an important day," Davis said. "[But] the job of police officers here and elsewhere goes on. Police officers don't take days off. But it's not lost on me what April 27 means to this city, and what it means to this police department."
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