Girl charged with murder in connection to fatal officer-involved shooting of 16-year-old

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – A 16-year-old girl has been charged with murder in connection to the death of 16-year-old Julius Tate Jr., who was shot and killed by a Columbus police officer.

Masonique Saunders was arrested on Dec. 13 on charges of robbery and murder because police said she played a role in the commission of the felony robbery that resulted in the death of Tate.

Police said Julius Tate had committed at least two previous armed robberies and, on the night he was killed, held up an undercover officer.

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Police said they responded to an ad on a social media sale site to exchange an item for cash Dec. 7.

Police did not know the identity of the person posting the sale ad, so undercover SWAT officers responded to the ad and set up a meeting.

Police said 16-year-old Julius Tate Jr. arrived at the meeting place Friday evening and pointed a gun at a SWAT officer in plain clothes. The teen was shot and killed by another officer.

Police said they recovered a weapon at the shooting scene.

Tate’s family said they plan to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

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