On the morning of Thursday, July 21, a 45-year-old New York City Corrections Officer named Dion Middleton shot and killed an 18-year-old named Raymond Chaluisant near a park in the Bronx. Here's how Yahoo! describes the incident:
According to police, Chaluisant was shooting a toy water gun from inside a car and Middleton allegedly shot him with his own weapon, firing more than once, sources said. It was unclear who Chaluisant had been aiming at, cops said.
But Chaluisant's older sister, Jiraida Esquilin, 29, said her little brother was just taking part in a water gun fight with neighborhood friends on a hot summer night.
"They were just having fun," she said. "It's a new nerf gun that shoots water. The whole neighborhood was having a water gun fight. It was 90 degrees."
Middleton, who works in at the NYPD shooting range, went to work after the incident. He has since been charged with murder, manslaughter, and criminal possession of a weapon.
According to NYPD, Chaluisant's toy water gun was actually a gel bead blaster, which is a type of water gun that definitely looks like a water gun and shoots beads of water but which some people compare to air rifles. According to a tweet that NYPD conveniently posted several hours after Chaluisant's death:
According to NBC New York, Chaluisant may have been — *gasp*! — participating in a TikTok challenge to shoot people with bead blaster water guns.
Why is that important?
It's not. This kid had a fucking water gun, with orange plastic parts that clearly marked it as a water gun, so a corrections officer who works for NYPD shot and killed him, and the NYPD press department is running interception because they killed a kid with a water gun.
Bronx teen playing with toy water gun fatally shot by correction officer: NYPD [Rocco Parascandola, Kerry Burke, Emma Seiwell / Yahoo! and New York Daily News]
NYC 18-Year-Old With Toy Gun Seen in TikTok Trend Killed by Off-Duty Correction Cop [Ida Siegal / NBC 4 New York]