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NYC Cops Fire at Boy With Water Gun

August 25, 1998

NEW YORK (AP) _ A 16-year-old boy was shot by police who mistook his water pistol for a real weapon, with one of the officers firing all 16 rounds in his gun.

Michael Jones was in critical condition Monday. He was shot seven times early Sunday after encountering police while he rode his bicycle.

Police were looking for the boy after an off-duty police officer reported he was pointing a gun at people and cars.

Police said the boy refused to drop his toy, which looked like a submachine gun. But Jermain Congress, who was riding his bike with Jones, said Jones was dropping his pistol when he was shot.

Officer David Gross fired all 16 rounds from his 9mm service revolver at Jones. Sgt. Michael Jacobellis fired once.

Police Commissioner Howard Safir said a preliminary investigation indicates the officers acted properly.

``Certainly at 2:30 in the morning it would not be unreasonable to believe this was a real weapon,″ Safir said, holding up Jones’ black water pistol and a 9mm MP5 submachine gun.

It is illegal in the city to sell or possess a toy gun that looks real or is painted black.

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