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Wednesday
Jan042012

Eighth Grader Shot By Cops Had Pellet Gun

AbleStock/Thinkstock(BROWNSVILLE, Texas) -- An eighth grader was shot and killed by Texas cops Wednesday when he refused to put down a gun, but police later determined the boy had been armed with a harmless pellet gun.

Brownsville police rushed to the Cummings Middle School around 8 a.m. Wednesday when school officials called 911 to report a student with a gun. The school was promptly locked down.

"The student engaged the officers and was shot," according to a statement from the Brownsville Independent School District.

"He had the weapon in his hand and he pointed the weapon at the officers," Brownsville Police Detective Jose Trevino told ABC News.

Kip V. Johnson Hodge, a spokeswoman from the office of Cameron County Justice of the Peace, told ABC News that Gonzalez was pronounced dead at the hospital. An autopsy has been ordered and officials are awaiting the results.

"The motive and his background are not going to be released yet because it's still an active investigation," Trevnio said.

It wasn't until later that police determined that Gonzalez's weapon was a pellet gun that looked like a real handgun.

No other students or employees were injured.

Investigators searched the "entire school room by room," according to the police statement. The lockdown was lifted approximately two hours later.

Students and employees from the school were relocated to the gym at Porter High School. Parents who wished to pick up their children were told to report to the school. Counselors were on hand to talk to students, parents and employees.

The school has approximately 750 students enrolled. Brownsville is in the southern tip of Texas, approximately 280 miles south of Austin.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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