Joliet police shooting: Man on life support after shot in front of his daughter, family says

Joliet police shoot man firing handgun outside apartments; suspect critically injured

ByTre Ward and ABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Sunday, April 9, 2023
Joliet police shooting: Man on life support after shot in front of his daughter, family says
A Joliet police shooting left a man who critically injured. The suspect was allegedly firing a gun outside the Lois Lane apartments early Saturday.

JOLIET, Ill. (WLS) -- Joliet police shot and critically wounded a man who was allegedly firing a gun outside an apartment complex early Saturday morning.

Now, the family of Jamal Smith said he's clinging to life, claiming that the shooting happened right in front of his daughter.

"He's a loving father," said Smith's cousin, Shakera Harrison. "He loves his kids. He always have his kids."

Standing steps away from where Smith was shot by Joliet police, his family is now seeking answers.

"We're not doing good, we want answers. We want to know who pulled the gun, who's the officer that shot? Why did he shoot," Harrison said.

Officers responded to a possible domestic disturbance near an apartment in the 900-block of Lois Place around 4:47 a.m., Joliet police said in a press release.

Family members said Smith was dropping his daughter at his mother's home on Lois Place. That's when his family said his daughter's mother showed up and the two got into some kind of argument.

"This has been a domestic dispute. The baby mother's called officers saying she wanted her baby back from him," Harrison said. "He had the baby with him, so she wanted her daughter [and] he wouldn't give her her daughter and she called the officers."

Police said when officers got there, Smith was firing a handgun.

That's when investigators said the officers shot him multiple times, then rendered aid. He was transported to a local hospital in critical condition.

According to police, a gun was recovered on scene but Smith's family said they don't believe he was ever armed.

"From what I heard from my people in the residence, they did not see a gun. They did not see him with a weapon. They saw him walking away, trying to go back inside the building, and that's when the officers fired the shot and they stuck him four times," Harrison said.

"I want answers, OK. That's all I want," said Smith's aunt, Everlean Dillard.

Police said all the officers who were involved in the shooting were checked out at the hospital, per policy.

Police said this was an isolated incident and there is no threat to the public. The Will-Grundy Major Crimes Task Force is handling the investigation.