Police shooting classified as homicide

July 3, 2009 (CHICAGO) Friday, the medical examiner revealed the teen was hit in his lower back and has now classified the case as a homicide.

It happened in an alley in the 1900 block of South Christina in the city's Lawndale neighborhood.

However, those in the neighborhood question why police shot Rakeem Nance.

Nance was a freshman at Collins Academy High School, but police say they consider Nance a dangerous suspect who was a threat to police officers, and the search for two other suspects continues. Police say three suspects fled after a home robbery on South Spaulding when officers on routine patrol saw the suspects.

"You have an individual who just committed armed robbery. Our officers being observant...spotted some of his accomplices wearing mask carrying a weapon. They chose to follow the individual carrying the weapon," Chicago Police Superintendent Jody Weis said.

Police say officers chased the suspect with a weapon on foot, cornering him. That suspect is identified by the Cook County Medical Examiner as 16-year-old Rakeem Nance was shot in the back and killed.

"He pointed his weapon and tried to kill the officer in front of him. Fortunately the officer to rear saw what was going on and was able to engage the offender and prevented him from killing a police officer," Weis said.

In the neighborhood today, residents spoken to hadn't heard of any home robbery and doubt Nance would have a gun.

"That little boy didn't do that. Ain't no way that he did a home invasion. A gun, that little boy ain't like that," family friend Kenyetta Anderson said.

"That would be a shock to me, the whole family is nice. See him go to school and come back never see him do anything," family friend Steve Smith said.

Furthermore, a witness tells ABC7's Jason Knowles Nance did not have a weapon.

"He was running holding his pant up while he was running, and once he got under that viaduct officers started shooting he didn't have no gun he was holding his pant up… No, he was holding his pants up with one hand and running," said a person who did not wish to be identified.

Independent police review authority is investigating. Their investigators are talking with witnesses and will determine if the shooting was justified.

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