DUNCANVILLE, TX — Cops shot and killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice in Ohio, thinking his toy airsoft gun was real. Closer to home in Duncanville, it could’ve been the same story.
Except, this story ended with everyone walking away.
Last Saturday, Officer Ben Luna was on patrol when a 911 call came in.
911 Caller: These boys walkin’ round with a big ol’ gun, showing it.
That’s when Officer Luna stopped three teens on Colbert and Avenue of the Stars. You can see one teen reaching for his waistband.
“The one in the grey sweater looks back at me, makes a movement towards his front waistband, looks at me.. .and for that split second, ‘okay, is he going to run,’ what’s going to go on?” Luna said. “At that time, I exit my vehicle, my gun drawn, telling them, ‘stop, get your hands up, get down.’”
Dashcam video shows the incident unfold. You can hear the teen shout the gun is fake. Luna continually demands the teen to get on the ground.
Not knowing if the gun was real or not, Luna made a split-second decision; he doesn’t shoot. Turns out, it was a BB gun.
“Looks just like a real gun- -The weight, there was no orange tip. What kept me from shooting that day? You know, that day was my day off, maybe it was just meant to be that on that day, the incident was supposed to happen. Hopefully adults and young adults will see this and just learn to follow commands.”
The folks at Lancaster ISD are making sure of that, with a community program called Saving our Students.
“If there are any people that feel they’ve been violated, their rights, well there’s a procedure to take care of that can be filed.”
These kids were cuffed on the curb, until their families came to pick them up.
“The aunt and uncle were very grateful, they shook our hands.”
There’s plenty to be grateful for in this story. ‘Hands up, don’t shoot,’ isn’t just a slogan.