It happened Wednesday morning in Brownsville.  Police shot and killed an eighth-grade student in a middle school hallway after he refused to drop the pellet pistol he'd smuggled into the school.

15 year old Jaime Gonzalez died at a Brownsville hospital after police responded to a 911 call reporting an individual with a gun at Cummings Middle School in downtown Brownsville.

School officials say the incident started when the boy assaulted another student.  When teachers intervened they discovered the pistol and called for police assistance.

A police spokesman says “The suspect was ordered numerous times to drop this pistol and he disobeyed officers' commands.  He pointed the weapon at the officers, at which point the officers that were actively engaged by the suspect fired at least twice.”

The spokesman says the boy was carrying a carbon dioxide powered pellet pistol that looked just like a dangerous firearm.  “It has the exact appearance of a Glock semi-automatic pistol.”

The boy's family is questioning the police response.  They want to know why police shot to kill their son, instead of just shooting to wound him.

"Why was so much excess force used on a minor?" the boy's father, Jaime Gonzalez Sr., asked outside the family's home Wednesday night. "Three shots. Why not one that would bring him down?"

His mother says it was an injustice. "I know that my son wasn't perfect, but he was a great kid."

via Brownsville police kill teen at middle school - Houston Chronicle.

If he was such a great kid, why did he take a realistic looking pistol to school and draw attention to himself by attacking another student?

And if he was such a great kid, why did he ignore the officers' repeated orders to put down the gun?  And why did he point the gun at the officers, which forced them to assume the gun was real and shoot him in fear of their own lives?

Tragically, we'll never know.

The NRA needs to get involved in this, and use their clout to make air gun manufacturers stop making pellet pistols that look like real guns, and outlaw the sale of imported pellet pistols like these.

Even from a few feet away police can't tell the difference, and they should not be forced to shoot someone under circumstances like these.