In its first police involved shooting since the Chicago Police Department released dashcam video of the death of teenager Laquan McDonald, police shot and killed two residents–one likely by accident–during a domestic disturbance call on the city’s West Side.
Police said that they were attacked by an agitated suspect, but families called the shooting an overreaction to the situation.
Killed was a 19-year-old engineering student, who family members said has been having mental health issues, and a 55-year-old mother of five.
According to The Chicago Tribune officers responded to an apartment in the West Garfield Park neighborhood at 4:30 AM on Saturday after dispatchers reported that a male 911 caller “said someone is threatening his life. It’s also coming in as a domestic. The 19-year-old son is banging on his bedroom door with a baseball bat.”
The CPD says that officers were “confronted by a combative subject resulting in the discharging of the officer’s weapon, fatally wounding two individuals.”
Preliminary information holds that LaGrier was in a small vestibule just inside the apartment of downstairs neighbor Bettie Jones. The woman was apparently standing farther down the hall and was also struck by the officer’s bullets–likely by accident. Several bullets also were reported as having traveled through several walls inside Jones’ apartment.
Jones was apparently asked by LaGrier’s father to keep an eye on his son because police had been called.
But when police arrived, teenager Quintonio LeGrier was shot and died almost instantly from his wounds.
Family members reported that the teen had recently graduated with honors from Gwendolyn Brooks College Preparatory Academy. He was studying engineering at Northern Illinois University.
“My son was going somewhere. He wasn’t just a thug on the street,” the teen’s mother, Janet Cooksey, said.
Cooksey also said that her 150-pound son was shot seven times by police, but officials have not confirmed that claim.
LeGrier’s father told the paper that his son had “emotional issues” but he felt police had “messed up.”
“I don’t feel that his life was worth losing because he got upset,” the suspect’s father, Antonio LeGrier, said.
“He was taking medication, but he was back at school,” Cooksey added according to the city’s ABC affiliate.
Family members in the home revealed that Jones had been struck in the neck. “She wasn’t saying anything. I had to keep checking for a pulse,” daughter Latisha Jones told the media.
Jones’ cousin, Evelyn Glover Jennings, added that she wanted a thorough investigation.
“I want this investigation to be thorough. I want answers,” Jennings said. “She’s my first cousin. Her blood is crying out from the grave saying, ‘Evelyn, avenge me.'”
The CPD released a terse statement on the shooting later on Saturday afternoon.
On Saturday, December 26, 2015, at approximately 4:25 a.m., 11th District Harrison officers responded to a domestic disturbance on the 4700 block of West Erie St. Upon arrival, officers were confronted by a combative suspect resulting in the discharging of the officer’s weapon fatally wounding two individuals. The matter remains under investigation and all further inquiries can be directed to the Independent Police Review Authority…”
The Associated Press reported that the teen’s mother wanted a personal apology from Chicago’s embattled Democrat Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
“Are we gonna get protected or is the police just gonna keep taking lives?” Cooksey said. “I mean, whose gonna answer these questions?”
Emanuel has been under fire for what many residents feel is his mishandling of the Laquan McDonald shooting and is facing a growing call for his resignation.
On Monday of Christmas Week, an activist group delivered a petition with over 250,000 signatures calling for Emanuel’s resignation over his actions in the McDonald investigation.
Many charge that Emanuel delayed the release of dashcam video of the 17-year-old’s 2014 shooting in order to smooth the way for his re-election early in 2015.
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