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Cop in tense exchange with boys carrying BB gun: 'You think I want to shoot an 11-year-old?'

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 10/17/2018 Doug Stanglin
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In a tense exchange caught on body cam video, a Columbus, Ohio, police officer lectures two young boys in a roadside stop about the danger of them carrying around a BB gun, saying he could have killed them.

Officer Peter Casuccio came upon the boys on the sidewalk in Columbus on Saturday in response to a call about two young black males carrying a gun.

The boys, clearly chastened during the stern exchange, lean against a bridge guardrail while Casuccio explains how the encounter could have ended in disaster.

On the tape, released Tuesday by the Columbus police department, one of the boys says he hadn't been showing anyone the gun, he was only holding it.

"You can't do that dude, in today's world," Casuccio says. "Listen, that thing looks real."

In 2016, another Columbus police officer responding to reports of a robbery at gunpoint, killed a 13-year-old boy who drew what turned out to be a BB  gun with a laser site.

In body cam video, Columbus police officer lectures two boys about the danger of carrying a realistic BB-gun. © Columbus (Ohio) PD In body cam video, Columbus police officer lectures two boys about the danger of carrying a realistic BB-gun. As the boys apologize, Casuccio asks their age. One boys says he is 11 and the other 13.

"Do you think I want to shoot an 11-year-old? Do you think I want to shoot a 13-year-old?" Casuccio asks them. The boys reply, "No, sir."

"Do I honestly look like the type of dude that wants to shoot anybody?" he asks. Again, the boys reply, "No, sir." 

"But do I look like the type of dude that would shoot somebody?" he asks.

"Yes, sir," they answer.

 Casuccio, who tells them he served overseas in the military, says he prides himself on being a "pretty bad hombre. Because I got to be." Then he warns: "Don't make me."

The video includes an exchange later between the officer and the mother of one of the boys.

Casuccio tells her that when he pulled up and saw one of them with the gun, "I'm not going to lie to you, doing cop stuff, I drew up on them."

The officer tells the mother that her son "freaks out" and starts to pull the BB gun out of his waistband.

"He could've shot you for that, you know that?" the mother is heard telling her son. Casuccio says that when the gun fell, he realized for the first time that it was just a BB gun.

"Regardless of what people say about the dudes wearing this uniform, we care, we legitimately care," Casuccio tells the boys. 

"The last thing I ever want to do is shoot an 11-year-old, man. Because your life hasn't even gotten started yet. And it could've ended. Because I wouldn't have missed," Casuccio tells the boy.

"I could've killed you. I want you to think about that tonight when you go to bed. You could be gone. Everything you want to do in this life could've been over," he says.

Later, the boy, accompanied by is mother, tells CBS News that he regrets carrying the gun.

"I didn't think about it before I did it."

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