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Baltimore police shoot, injure teen with replica gun

By Amy R. Connolly
Baltimore police shot and injured a teen who was carrying a BB gun that closely resembled a semiautomatic pistol. The boy's injuries are not life threatening. Photo courtesy Baltimore police
Baltimore police shot and injured a teen who was carrying a BB gun that closely resembled a semiautomatic pistol. The boy's injuries are not life threatening. Photo courtesy Baltimore police

BALTIMORE, April 28 (UPI) -- Baltimore police shot and injured a teenage boy carrying a BB gun that closely resembled a semiautomatic pistol, authorities said.

The boy, identified by his family as Dedric Colvin, 14 and an 8th grader at City Springs Middle School, was shot once in the shoulder and once in the leg. His injuries are not life threatening.

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Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said two plainclothes Baltimore detectives spotted the boy with what appeared to be a handgun. They got out of their car and identified themselves as police officers. The officers chased him for about 150 yards before one detective shot the boy.

Police said the boy, who they did not name, was 13. Investigators released a photo of the weapon, later identified as a spring-air-powered BB gun.

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Davis said there will be an investigation into the shooting, led by the department's Special Investigations Response Team.

"Investigating police-involved shootings is a sacred obligation to this police department," he said. "We're going to get it right."

The incident came the same day as the one-year anniversary of the Freddie Gray protests in the city. Wednesday, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake hosted an event to mark the day riots erupted after Gray was buried.

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Gray, 25, sustained a fatal spinal injury in April 2015 while being driven in a police transport van after his arrest. His death sparked weeks of demonstrations, riots and looting in Baltimore and amplified the Black Lives Matter movement. Prosecutors contend officers did not do enough to get Gray medical aid after he was injured while riding in the back of the van handcuffed but not buckled into a seat. Six Baltimore police officers have been charged in his death.

The shooting also comes days after the city of Cleveland agreed to pay $6 million to the family of Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old who was shot and killed by police in November 2014. The boy was carrying an airsoft pistol with the orange tip removed. The officers involved in the shooting were not criminally charged.

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