Teen charged as adult in police shooting

January 25, 2008 4:00:52 PM PST
A Chicago high school student now faces charges after he was shot by an off-duty Chicago Police officer.

Prosecutors say the 16-year-old brought a gun to school and was shot after he ran from that officer. Prosecutors say the teen reached for his gun before he was shot.

The student is hospitalized. His injuries were so severe he lost one kidney. He is being charged as an adult in the incident.

Sixteen-year old Darrius Wilson is in serious condition at Stroger Hospital. His attorney says Wilson lost a kidney and his liver was severed after being shot three times, twice in the back, by an off-duty police officer. The shooting is being investigated by the Independent Police Review Authority.

"There's two sides to every story and I do believe that the truth will come out," said Sharon Stevens, Wilson's grandmother.

Friday, Sharon Stephens was speaking on behalf of her grandson, Darrius Wilson, who was shot Tuesday morning. Investigators say Wilson was entering Wendell Phillips High School when a security guard detected a concealed gun in the sleeve of his coat. Wilson then ran away and was pursued by an off-duty officer stationed at the school to the CTA stop in the 300-block of East 43rd Street. That's where his attorney says the officer crossed the line.

"An off-duty Chicago Police officer helping at the school pursued him and apparently shot him three times, twice in the back," said Charles Lauer, Wilson's attorney.

While investigators are looking into whether the shooting was justified, the state's attorney's office says Wilson has a criminal background and was recently convicted as a juvenile for a previous weapons charge.

Wilson was charged Friday with two felonies, aggravated assault on an officer and unlawful use of a weapon in a school, and will be tried as an adult. Prosecutors say Wilson's gun was found at the scene.

"It was loaded. There were eight rounds in the magazine as well as one in the chamber. While the defendant was being treated at the hospital, a three-inch knife was also found on him," said Jason Poje, assistant state's attorney.

According to Chicago Public Schools, Wilson was suspended from Phillips and was not supposed be there on Tuesday. Wilson's grandmother says he admitted that he got into trouble but was trying to turn his life around.

"We just know that whatever happens, there was no need for him to be shot three times and twice in the back," said Stevens.

Wilson's bond was set at $40,000. His family plans to post his bond before he is released from the hospital, which might be sometime next week.

Both Wilson's attorney and the independent review board are talking to witnesses to find out exactly what happened during the shooting and whether there was any excessive force.