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shootings

Officer who shot Tamir Rice found unfit by previous department

The Cleveland police officer who shot and killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice last month "could not follow simple directions, could not communicate clear thoughts nor recollections, and his handgun performance was dismal" during a short stint at a smaller police force in 2012, according to a letter from his previous supervisor released Wednesday.

Rice was carrying a fake gun outside of a community center when he was shot by Officer Tim Loehmann less than two seconds after he arrived on the scene. Before joining the Cleveland Police Department in March 2014, Loehmann spent six months with the suburban Independence Police Department, Cleveland.com reports. He resigned in December 2012, four days after receiving a letter from Deputy Chief Jim Polak saying that he did "not believe time, nor training, will be able to change or correct" his "deficiencies."

Loehmann's personnel file was released by the Independence department on Wednesday. It also included a written report by Independence Police Sgt. Greg Tinnirello, who said Loehmann often cried over an on-again, off-again girlfriend, and had to stop handgun training because he was "distracted" and so upset.

Polak determined in his report that Loehmann was not mature enough to understand how serious it was to have a breakdown at the shooting range, writing, "Unfortunately in law enforcement there are times when instructions need to be followed to the letter and I am under the impression that Ptl. Loehmann, under certain circumstances, will not react in the way instructed."