Interviews with the two officers responsible for killing 13-year old Tamir Rice have surfaced. The one who didn’t pull the trigger says they didn’t know it was a kid, obviously.
The videos are separate investigative interviews with officers Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback that were conducted days after the killing. In them, homicide detectives and internal affairs officers are asking questions about the moments leading up to the fatal shooting. Not surprisingly, the statements the officers make in the video conflict with what the officers wrote in their original written statements.
Loehmann, the killer, says that they rolled up on Rice he saw the gun [which turned out to be a toy] but never says that Tamir actually pointed it at him. He later says that Rice was walking away from him after he ordered him to stop, turned around, lifted up his shirt and reached for the weapon.
“And I fired two shots,” Loehmann said. “The threat just became incredible. I had to make the decision fast because Frank and I were in immediate danger. If the subject did pull out the gun and point it towards us, I would have been shot and possibly my partner…Plus, I was stuck in the doorway and my partner was still seated in the driver’s seat. So we were basically sitting ducks.”
In Garmback’s video, he can be seen crying while giving his explanation, later saying that he didn’t realize they just ran up on a 12-year old kid and shot him dead, until they actually did it.
“I didn’t know it was a kid,” Garmback said. “He’s barely breathing, and there’s no rescue squad here…Then [firefighters] come up. And they’re walking so slow. Other units are telling them to hurry up, get over there. They still walk slow.”
Neither officer is going to jail for the killing, but they could lose their jobs. The family did win a civil lawsuit that will award them $6 million.
Photo: Rice Family Handout