The police officer who shot 12-year-old Tamir Rice is speaking out for the first time, more than a year after the shooting.
In a signed statement given to investigators and released by the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office Tuesday, Cleveland Police Officer Timothy Loehmann doesn't mention Tamir by name.
He says he saw a suspect "pick up an object and stick it down in his waistband" as he arrived outside a Cleveland recreation center with his partner on November 22, 2014. He says he yelled "show me your hands" as loudly as he could. And he says he thought the suspect "appeared to be over 18 years old and about 185 pounds" and was pulling out a real gun.
"With his hands pulling the gun out and his elbow coming up, I knew it was a gun and it was coming out. I saw the weapon in his hands coming out of his waistband and the threat to my partner and myself was real and active," Loehmann wrote in the statement, which was dated Monday.
The officer says he fired two shots toward the gun, based on his training.
The video shows this exchange happened in a matter of seconds. I know athletes feel that time slows down at the peak of their performance, but wow. Can someone explains how that works?