Chicago police shoot, wound man in chase

May 11, 2008 8:48:03 PM PDT
Chicago police shot and seriously wounded a man on the city's South Side Sunday.The Independent Police Review Authority is investigating the incident, which happened at 58th and Damen Avenue. Jevera Gardner,19, remained in serious condition Sunday night at Advocate Christ hospital in suburban Oak Lawn. The teen was placed under arrest by police after, they say, he had a gun and led police on a chase before officers shot him.

Gardner's family, on the other hand, tells a much different story. They say he did nothing wrong and was the victim of an overly aggressive police officer.

"There is something that is being covered up somewhere," Michelle Gardner, the man's sister, told ABC7 Chicago.

Jevera Gardner's relatives say a Chicago police officer was wrong when he shot the 19-year-old in the back as the teen allegedly held his 2-year-old son in his arms.

Police investigators say they have no indication the teen was holding a child.

"I don't have any reports of that, and currently, we're investigating. There are no details on any of that," said the review authority's Mark Payne.

Police say their evidence shows Gardner was armed with a gun.

"If he was shooting at you, how could he have been shooting at you when he was shot from behind," Michelle Gardner said.

Investigators say police responded to a call about a man with a gun near 58th Street and Damen Avenue and shot the man twice in the back after chasing him.

"There was a weapon recovered at the scene, and we are currently investigating," said Payne.

Jevera Gardner's family tells a story that has Gardner with his son in his arms walking with friends to his aunt's house for a Mother's Day dinner. Relatives say, when police approached them, Gardner's friends ran, but he didn't.

"He loved his child. He always talks about his child, when he comes to visit, how he's going to pick him up, different things like that," cousin Linda Wright said.

The family says their frustration has only been complicated by what they call poor treatment by hospital officials.

"They won't let anybody up. No updates or anything. So, I'm just kind of twisted about that. Then, they said he was under arrest, and I'm like, 'Wait a minute. You shot him and you want to arrest him?'" said Johnny Wright, another cousin.

Sunday night, police investigators had not said exactly what kind of weapon they recovered or where they recovered the weapon. They say their investigation is ongoing.


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