Jamar Nicholson, 15, of Los Angeles, was unarmed when he was shot in the back Tuesday morning as he stood next to a person who was holding a toy weapon, the Times writes. A bandage covers the upper right side of his back, where he was shot as he walked to school.
According LAPD officials, the detectives believed they saw one of the teenagers pointing a gun at another boy in the group.
The detectives ordered the teen to drop the gun and when he failed to respond they fired multiple times at him, police officials said.
But the detectives missed their intended target and instead shot Nicholson in the back, narrowly missing his spine.
Police did not realize the person was holding a toy gun until after shots were fired.
“All of a sudden we hear ‘freeze,’” Nicholson told KTLA. “We didn’t know who it was. So I turned around and all I see is gunshots. I got hit. And (they ) immediately told us ‘get on the f-ing ground.’”
Nicholson told the Times that the officer involved in the shooting acknowledged the mistake.
An LAPD captain apologized to Jamar’s mother, but the teen said he wants to hear that directly from the officer who shot him.
“I don’t want to see him again… but I do want that sorry,” he said.
The shooting comes to light a day after FBI Director James B. Comey urged law enforcement officers to examine their strained relationship with communities of color. The plea came after ongoing protests erupted over police-involved shootings of unarmed Black men.