Police Say Suspect They Killed For Pointing ‘Military-Style Rifle’ At Cars, Officers Was Teenager With Airsoft Gun

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Brianna Lyman News and Commentary Writer
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Florida police shot and killed a teen Saturday night who they thought was holding a “military-style rifle” that was actually an airsoft gun, according to multiple reports.

Seventeen-year-old Alexander King was an 11th grader at Tarpon Springs High School, according to Fox 13.

Authorities responded to several 9-1-1 calls about a “white male wearing dark clothing pointing a military-style rifle” at others, Fox 13 reported.

Tarpon Springs Police Chief Jeff Young said when officers arrived on scene King allegedly lifted his weapon and pointed it at the two officers. Responding officers reportedly sought shelter behind a car before opening fire on King. King sustained multiple gun shot wounds and was pronounced dead at a hospital, according to Fox 13. (RELATED: Police Release Video Of Officers Fatally Shooting Man Armed With Water Gun)

Authorities later said while they received reports King was armed with an AK-style rifle, he was actually carrying an airsoft gun, according to a Tampa Bay Times report published Monday.

Both officers have since been placed on administrative leave while an investigation continues.

King had 22 prior run-ins with authorities, including a 2017 felony arrest for battery of a school board employee and a 2018 aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, according to Fox 13.