Two families on the West Side were demanding answers Saturday after officers responding to a call about a domestic disturbance shot and killed a 19-year-old engineering student and a 55-year-old mother of five.
Police were offering few details of the early-morning shooting, the first use of lethal force by Chicago police since last month’s release of a video of Laquan McDonald’s death put a national spotlight on the city.
The department issued a brief statement saying officers responded to a home in West Garfield Park around 4:30 a.m. A dispatcher told the officers that a “male 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 officers were “confronted by a combative subject resulting in the discharging of the officer’s weapon, fatally wounding two individuals.”
Relatives said the 19-year-old, Quintonio LeGrier, was an honors student who had been struggling with mental health issues recently.
The woman who was killed, Bettie Jones, was a downstairs neighbor and had been asked by the father to keep an eye out for the arrival of the police, according to both families.
Neither the police statement nor the source provided any account of how both LeGrier and Jones came to be wounded by one of the officers in front of the frame two-flat in the 4700 block of West Erie Street.
LeGrier’s father told the Tribune that his son had “emotional issues” that made him angry. He believes the officer “messed up” and shot recklessly as his son came to the front door, hitting him several times and also striking Jones.
“I don’t feel that his life was worth losing because he got upset,” Antonio LeGrier said.
Jones’ relatives believe she was behind LeGrier, near the entrance to her apartment, and was shot by mistake. Continue Reading
Article Org: chicagotribune.com