12-year-old DeAntae Farrow was shot to death by a West Memphis police officer Friday night at the Steeplechase Apartments on Goodwin Road.
West Memphis Police were at the apartment complex staking out a nearby convenience store when two youngsters walked into the complex.
"One of the persons they encountered had what appeared to have a firearm in his hand," said Mike Allen with West Memphis Police Department.
Police say they ordered the young boy to drop the weapon, but when he made a gesture toward them, one of the officers fired at least two shots.
Farrow died moments later about the same time police realized the gun he was carrying wasn't real.
"My understanding is that it was not a real firearm but a replica-type toy firearm," added Allen.
Farrow lives about a block from the Steeplechase Apartments. He and an older cousin were walking to spend the night with other relatives who live at the apartment complex.
Farrow graduated from the 6th grade last month.
"He was a very outgoing person. He kept everyone laughing. He just was a momma's baby," said Farrow's cousin Shameka Banks.
A mound of toys, statues and sympathy cards mark the spot where Farrow was shot to death. It's a way for friends and relatives to cope until all of their questions are answered.
"It don't make no sense or nothing but they took him out and that was wrong," added Farrow's aunt Rosemary Farrow. "Why did it happen? You know that's a kid," she said. One way or the other we're going to get to the bottom of it and justice is going to be served."
While the two officers on duty are on suspension, Arkansas State Police will handle the investigation. But local police say it appears the officers did what they were trained to do.
"They took what action I feel like they thought was appropriate at that particular time," said Allen.
But Allen says that doesn't lessen the tragic nature of the situation--that a 12-year-old brandishing a toy, lost his life.
Meanwhile, DeAntae Farrow's family will prepare to say goodbye to the little boy they called Tae Tae.