A 19-year-old Chicago man and his 55-year-old neighbor were fatally shot by police officers responding to a domestic disturbance early Saturday morning on the city’s West Side.
Police have released few details about the shooting, saying in a statement, “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 subject 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.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. LeGrier’s Family Says He Was Shot 7 Times
According to police radio dispatches, which you can listen to above, officers were sent to 4710 West Erie Street after a 911 call from LeGrier’s father.
“We got a check the well being at 4710 West Erie, 4710 West Erie,” the dispatcher told officers. “The 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.”
LeGrier’s mother told the Chicago Tribune her son was agitated and carrying a metal bat.
“His father was scared because that’s not his character,” his mother, Janet Cooksey, told the Tribune. She was not at the home when the shooting occurred.
She told the newspaper police said her son was shot seven times.
“He’s gone, he’s gone. Seven times he was shot,” Cooksey said. “He didn’t have a gun. He had a bat. One or two times would have brought him down.”
LeGrier’s father, Antonio LeGrier, told the Chicago Sun-Times the officer who shot his son was about 30 feet away. He said the officer told him Quintonio LeGrier lunged at him with the bat.
“In my opinion, he knew he had messed up. It was senseless,” Antonio LeGrier told the Sun-Times about the unnamed officer. “He knew he had shot, blindly, reckless into the doorway and now two people are dead because of it.”
2. Jones Was Shot in the Neck After Opening the Apartment’s Door for Police, Her Daughter Says
She said she woke up to find her mother bleeding from the neck. Bettie Jones, a mother of five, was taken to the hospital, where she later died.
“At this point, we are confronted with a series of unanswered and deeply troubling questions,” Cook County Commissioner Richard Boykin, who represents the district where the shooting occurred, said in a statement. “Why did the officers on the scene need to resort to the use of their firearms to subdue a young man with a bat? Why weren’t the officers equipped with tasers so that Quintonio could be subdued without lethal force? How, during an officer response, did a 55-year-old mother of five come to be struck dead by bullets?”
Read more about Jones at the link below:
3. LeGrier Was Studying Engineering at Northern Illinois University
LeGrier’s family says he was an engineering student at Northern Illinois University and was home for Christmas break.
He graduated last year from the Gwendolyn Brooks College Preparatory Academy with honors, according to the school’s website.
4. His Mother Says He Had ‘Mental Issues’
LeGrier’s mother told the Chicago Tribune her son suffered from “mental issues.”
“They did tell me he was shot seven times. That’s a bit much. That’s a bit much,” she said. “I don’t take all of that. My son only weighed about 150 pounds. … Why do you have to be shot that many times? Why? If the police is trained in the field, then how, they’re just handling the situation by killing people?”
His father told the Sun-Times he took his son to the hospital during Thanksgiving break because of “emotional problems.” He said his son was prescribed with medication.
5. The Shootings Come After Weeks of Protests Over Laquan McDonald’s Death
The December 26 shootings follow weeks of protests over the death of Laquan McDonald, which have put the spotlight on the Chicago Police Department and Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
The protests have come after a dashcam recording led to a charge of first-degree murder against Officer Jason Van Dyke in the 2014 shooting of Laquan McDonald. That video was released to the public after a judge ordered the city must comply with a Freedom of Information Act request. The city had initially fought the release of the video.
Also, the U.S. Department of Justice announced it has launched a Civil Rights probe into the city of Chicago’s police department, and Emanuel asked the city’s police superintendent, Garry McCarthy, to step down. Emanuel has also removed the head of the Independent Police Review Authority and set up a task force to review the department.
Emanuel and District Attorney Anita Alvarez have both indicated they will not resign, despite calls for them to do so from protesters.