A Michigan teen was in serious condition Sunday after being shot by a police officer when he showed the officer responding to a complaint a handgun that turned out to be fake.
Nicholas King, a 14-year-old from Battle Creek, was shot Saturday by an officer outside a party store. The police department had received a call about a man with a pistol in the bushes near the store, according to the Battle Creek Enquirer.
This is the fake handgun that King had in his possession when he was shot Saturday. (Image source: Battle Creek Police Department via Battle Creek Enquirer)
When an officer approached King, the teen showed him what appeared to be a large-caliber handgun.
The Enquirer reported that the officer, whose name has not been released, shot the teen. King then dropped what turned out to be a plastic gun and ran. The officer pursued him and called for medical assistance.
"Further investigation revealed that the weapon was not real, but was a replica of a Smith and Wesson semi-automatic handgun," the Battle Creek Police Department said in a news release, according to MLive.
King's friend, Shannon Cortes, said she witnessed the incident, telling WOOD-TV the teen raised his hands at the instruction of the officer.
"But he only went half-way," Cortes told the local news station, adding that his fake weapon was not in his hands at this time. "His hand was completely clear."
King is in a pediatric unit at Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo, Mich., after six hours of surgery for the gunshot wound to his shoulder, WOOD reported.
Nicholas King had surgery to treat his gunshot wound over the weekend. (Image source: WOOD-TV)
"I want to know what happened, and why he, why this officer did what he did to my son? Nicholas King did not deserve this," his mother Patricia Nelson told the local news station.
Nelson said she had asked her son Saturday morning to leave the gun replica at home "because what happens if you get shot."
"All I want is answers," Nelson said later in the news report. "Just tell me why you shot my baby."
Watch WOOD-TV's report:
The officer, a 21-year veteran of the department, is on paid administrative leave while an investigation into the incident takes place.