CHICAGO (AP) — A Chicago police officer fatally shot a 24-year-old man who authorities said pulled a gun while running away, prompting questions from the man’s family about why the encounter turned deadly.
Sgt. Rocco Ailoto said the “armed confrontation” occurred around 8:10 p.m. Wednesday in the Bronzeville neighborhood on the city’s South Side as officers conducted a narcotics investigation. He said the suspect fled on foot when officers approached. Ailoto said in a statement that officers told the man to stop and he “produced a weapon,” so the officer shot him. The man was taken to University of Chicago Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
The Civilian Office of Police Accountability and the Cook County medical examiner’s office identified the man shot as Maurice Granton Jr. Police have not named the officer involved.
Granton’s sister, Joanna Varnado, asked, “Since when does running validate somebody getting shot?”
At the hospital, police and security officers blocked people from getting inside as tensions flared. Some yelled at police and hospital staff.
Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi tweeted that police recovered the suspect’s gun. He added that an officer may have broken an ankle during the confrontation. In a later statement, police said a sergeant was taken to a hospital for treatment of an injury sustained during the pursuit.
The Chicago Tribune reports that Granton’s family expressed doubts that the gun belonged to the father of two young daughters.
“I just want to know what the real story is,” Varnado said. “If it was misconduct, I want justice. My brother was 24 years old. He loved his girls. That’s all he lived for, was his kids.”
Police haven’t said how many shots were fired. An autopsy was planned. Ailoto said the officer has been placed on 30-day administrative leave in line with department policy.
The Civilian Office of Police Accountability was investigating.