The death of a 12-year-old boy, shot by a rookie cop who thought a toy gun in his hands was the real thing, has officially been ruled a homicide. The ruling that Tamir Rice died from a “gunshot wound of the torso with injuries of major vessel, intestines and pelvis” came down from the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office on Friday.
This determination of the November 22 shooting does not guarantee a criminal trial for Timothy Loehmann, the office who fired the fatal shots. As a ruling by the medical examiner’s office, it simply means that Rice’s death was a direct result of someone else’s actions.
“[I]t is my opinion that Tamir E. Rice, a 12-year-old black adolescent male, died as a result of a gunshot wound to the abdomen which injured his inferior vena cava, intestines, and pelvis,” wrote medical examiner Thomas Gilson in his report. “The decedent was shot by law enforcement during legal intervention.”
The case will next go to a grand jury, which will decide whether to charge Loehmann in a criminal case. In addition to that, Rice’s family is filing a wrongful death suit against the two officers involved, alleging, in part, that they didn’t give Rice first aid quickly enough. The preteen died the next day.