Teen dead after police shot him on the South Side

July 4, 2013 8:17:29 PM PDT
A 17-year-old has died after he was shot by police on the South Side near 56th and State.

Relatives of the man who was shot say that he was 17 years old. While earlier reports indicated he was in his 20s, the Cook County Medical Examiner's office confirmed Thursday afternoon that he was 17. A friend identified him as Christian Green. The Medical Examiner's office could not provide an identification late Thursday afternoon. He was pronounced dead at John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County, where he had been taken after the shooting.

"The police actually don't really bother him," said the teen's brother, Travail Fowler. "He don't never get into no trouble with the police."

Police say the shooting happened shortly after 1 p.m. Thursday. Authorities have not released any information about the circumstances surrounding the shooting. However, a spokesperson for the police union says that the teen was spotted by officers near Carter Elementary School while responding to a report of gang activity.

"The offender runs around the liquor store, drops the gun that he had in his waistband, stops, picks up the gun, continues to run," said Pat Camden of the Fraternal Order of Police. The union says the teen then ran through a grassy area, which is when the shooting happened.

"The individual turns around at that point, gun in hand, pointing it at the officer, the officers fire in defense of their life," said Camden. Chicago police issued a statement Thursday afternoon that also said the teen had a handgun.

The police union account is disputed, however, by neighborhood residents who say that witnesses claim the teen was playing with fireworks.

"They thought it was a gun -- it was a firecracker, like a roman candle or something," said witness Keaera Payton. "He pulled it out, police just started shooting."

"It's got nothing to do with fireworks, it's got to do with a illegal weapon being carried illegally by an individual who points it at the police, putting them in danger of their life," said Camden.

It was unclear around 4 p.m. how many officers were involved in the shooting.

Police remained on the scene of the shooting Wednesday around 4 p.m. and had cordoned off a large area. There were multiple evidence markers on the street next to a police SUV at the scene of the shooting.

According to a statement issued by Chicago police Thursday afternoon, officers saw the teen "acting suspiciously" near 5800 S. Michigan and approached and attempted to question the teen, who fled to near 5700 S. State, where police reportedly saw him drop a handgun and stop to pick it up and continue to flee.

The police statement said that officers ordered the teen to drop the weapon and stop, but the teen did not, "and instead pointed the weapon in the direction of a pursuing officer." The statement continued that "due to this action by the offender, the Officer was placed in fear for his life and discharged his weapon striking the offender."

As is standard in this type of incident, the Independent Police Review Authority will investigate, and they had officials on the scene around 4 p.m.

At 5 p.m. Thursday, Chicago Police News Affairs issued the following preliminary statement on the shooting: "On July 4, 2013, at approximately 1:10 p.m., Wentworth (002nd) District tactical officers were on patrol when they observed a male subject acting suspiciously near the area of 5800 S. Michigan Avenue. As officers approached the subject to conduct a field interview, he fled the scene. A foot pursuit ensued as the subject fled through vacant lots and property lines while holding his side. At approximately 5700 S. State, pursuing officers observed the subject drop a handgun from his waistband and then stop to retrieve it, after which he continued to flee. Pursuing officers ordered the offender to drop the weapon and stop. The offender refused to comply with the order and instead pointed the weapon in the direction of a pursuing officer. Due to this action by the offender, the Officer was placed in fear for his life and discharged his weapon striking the offender. The offender was transported to an area hospital where he was later pronounced and a weapon was recovered on scene."


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