The funeral for Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old boy fatally shot by a Cleveland policeman who thought the boy’s pellet gun was a real firearm, is planned for Wednesday, December 3, 2014.
The Nov. 22 shooting of Tamir Rice by 26-year-old rookie cop Tim Loehmann outside a recreation center has sparked protests in the area. Surveillance video shows Loehmann firing within two seconds of a patrol car stopping near Rice, who reached in his waistband for what ended up being a pellet gun.
— stacia l. brown (@slb79) December 2, 2014
Loehmann’s father, Fred Loehmann of Parma, told the Northeast Ohio Media Group that the officer didn’t know how old Rice was when he fired his gun at him.
He recalled his son saying: “I was right there and he went for the gun. I had no choice.”
Through their lawyer’s spokesman, Rice’s family declined to comment on any details about Loehmann.
The city, so far, hasn’t released statements taken from Loehmann or his police partner or personal files. Loehmann, who joined the Cleveland police force in March after spending several months with a police department in suburban Independence, is described by others as a quiet, respectful guy who grew up in Catholic schools and wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps, the publishing group said.
Fred Loehmann, who spent decades in law enforcement in New York as well as the U.S. Marshals Service, said his son was initially in shock after the shooting but is now doing “pretty well.”
“He’s living his life,” his father said. He added that the family has received death threats since police publicly identified the officers involved.
The police department is investigating the officer’s use of deadly force, and the county prosecutor has said the case will be presented for a grand jury to decide whether any charges are merited.
Loehmann and his partner, 46-year-old Frank Garmback, have returned to work from administrative leave but are not on patrol.