Support shown for widow after deadly neighbor's dispute in Gresham

Neighbors and friends of 91-year-old Hazel Jones came out to show their support for a woman whose husband was shot and killed last week. (WLS)
May 1, 2014 6:47:09 PM PDT
Neighbors and friends of 91-year-old Hazel Jones Huff came out to show their support for a woman whose husband was shot and killed last week.

Jones Huff also was wounded when her next door neighbor, who is a Chicago police officer, allegedly opened fire on the city's South Side.

It has been an emotional week for Jones Huff. A dispute last Friday with her next door neighbor left her with bullet wounds to her hand and leg, and her 86-year-old husband Joe Huff dead. And now she faces misdemeanor charges for battery and aggravated assault to a police officer.

"I don't feel good," said Jones Huff.

Her attorney says it's her neighbor, the police officer, who should be facing charges. The officer, Cody Hill, was off-duty at the time and fired, according to an initial police statement, in retaliation in fear of his life. Police say Joe Huff first shot the officer's wife before the officer fired back, killing Huff. Then after Hazel allegedly ignored his warning not to reach for the gun, he shot her.

"There is absolutely no proof that she put her hands on a weapon or went for a weapon, that that is called attempted murder," said Brunell Donald-Kyei, Huff's attorney.

"It's very difficult, I'm fighting this legal battle with her as well as trying to bury my uncle," said Dennis Johnson, nephew.

The dispute was the continuation of a feud between the neighbors that dates back more than a decade. They have filed numerous lawsuits and neighbors confirm an incident several years ago when the officer handcuffed Huff to the fence. According to police, at the start of Friday's dispute, Hazel threw rocks and dirt over the fence at the neighbors.

"In fact it was the police officer and his wife throwing the dirt and rocks on this woman," said attorney

Her attorney says she plans to fight the charges, and down the road, is considering a civil suit against the officer and the department.

"Can you imagine going through this or standing where we are? Your grandfather being gunned down, his wife being shot three times," said Ebony Huff, granddaughter.

A police officer has been posted in the neighborhood around the clock since the incident Friday. Relatives say they're not sure Hazel will be able to continue to live here, but they are committed to keeping the house in the family.

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