Chicago man killed in police-involved shooting

June 22, 2008 7:40:05 PM PDT
A 40-year-old man was killed overnight on the steps of a relative's home during a shooting involving Chicago police. Law enforcement authorities say he was armed, but the man's family has a different story.The early morning incident was the seventh police-involved shooting in recent weeks. Investigators said Sunday that they were working to determine if officers used excessive force in the incident.

Relatives of Shappell Terrell say the facts just don't add up. The 40-year-old's family says Terrell was not armed at the time of the shooting, and no one is quite sure why police came to the apartment building where the shooting took place.

Terrell was a father of six children and was employed as sanitation worker for a private company.

While relatives cleaned up Sunday, the bullet holes remained in the hallway of the South Side apartment where Terrell was gunned down by police early Sunday morning.

"He was in the corner dead

Terrell was killed following a family party. According to witnesses, the 40-year-old father was walking back into the apartment building when police showed up.

"The police officer shined a spotlight on him, asked him to turn around, he said, 'I'm busy right now,' or something like. Police opened fire on him as if he was a dog laying in the street," said area resident Denise Franklin.

Terrell's relatives recounted the incident Sunday. They said they heard multiple shots. At the time, they assumed they were hearing gang gunfire. They had no idea that what they heard were shots from police, until they looked out the window.

"It was 25 times, 25 shots. Now, during all this, I came out the door while my nephew was trying to get in," said Craig Greenlaw, Terrell's uncle. "Once he hit the hallway, it was like target practice."

Representatives of the Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA), the office that investigates police-involved shootings, were on the scene after the shooting.

"There were two weapons, and we're investigating," said the IPRA's Mark Payne.

The IPRA would not say if Terrell was pointing the weapons at police.

Terrell worked full-time as a garbage man for Diamond Disposal. His family and neighbors insist he did not own and carry any weapons.

"He doesn't use weapons. His brother juts got killed year before last from a gunshot. So, he does not mess with guns," cousin Kevin Greenlaw said.

"I couldn't see him sitting out in front of this house with two guns on him, not knowing how the city is about that. Why would you sit outside with your guns" said a neighbor who identified himself as Lonnie.

The medical examiner says Terrell died of multiple gunshot wounds.

The IPRA is the new agency that now investigates police shootings and misconduct. So, this shooting, as well as six other recent incidents, will be added to a backlog of cases. While the IPRA is understaffed, its director told ABC7 Chicago earlier in the week that the agency is not overwhelmed with the workload.


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