Tim Loehmann, the rookie cop who fatally shot 12-year-old Tamir Rice in Cleveland last month, was described as “distracted” and as having a “dismal” handgun performance rating, according to personnel files released Wednesday.
Loehmann, who became a Cleveland police officer in March, shot Rice on Nov. 22 outside of the Cudell Recreation Center.
Police received calls that the boy was pointing what turned out to be an air pistol at people. Witnesses who called 911 to report Rice’s actions stated they believed that Rice was carrying a fake gun.
Nevertheless, as video recorded of the shooting shows, Loehmann, 26, shot Rice almost immediately after hopping out of a still-moving squad car he was riding in with his partner. Loehmann reportedly said he believed Rice was 20 years old.
Loehmann’s personnel file from his six-month stint at the Independence, Ohio police department showed strong hints that he was not cut out to be a police officer.
“He could not follow simple directions, could not communicate clear thoughts nor recollections, and his handgun performance was dismal,” wrote Jim Polak, deputy chief of the Independence police department in a Nov. 29, 2012 letter, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
“Unfortunately in law enforcement there are times when instructions need to be followed to the letter and I am under the impression that Ptl. Loehmann, under certain circumstances, will not react in the way instructed,” continued Polak.
Independence police Sgt. Greg Tinnierello wrote of a 2012 incident at the Cleveland Heights Police Department in which Loehmann showed up “sleepy and upset” for a state gun qualification session.
Loehmann was reportedly upset over a girlfriend and was crying to the point that he could not continue with the training session.
He “was distracted and was not following simple instructions,” Tinnierello wrote.
The rookie cop tendered his resignation with the Independence police force less than a week later.
It is unclear how Loehmann became a Cleveland cop. He is currently being investigated for using excessive force.