Holy Holiday Ends in Fatal Shooting of Black Man and Woman by Chicago Police
The holiday season meant to celebrate peace and new beginnings did not fair so well for another Black man and woman who were killed in an early morning the day after Christmas by Chicago police. The police-involved shooting following what police say was a domestic disturbance at a West Garfield Park residence.
Based on a Chicago Police Department statement issued about 9:50 a.m., ‘shortly before 4:30 a.m., officers responded to a domestic disturbance in the 4700 block of West Erie Street and were confronted by a “combative subject,” which resulted in the discharging of an officer’s weapon. “Two people were fatally wounded,” the statement said.
Nineteen year-old Quintonio LeGrier, 19, a graduate of Gwendolyn Brooks College Preparatory Academy, was studying engineering at Northern Illinois University was shot seven times and pronounced dead, according to family members at the scene.
Janet Cooksey, LeGrier’s mother said , “My son was going somewhere. He wasn’t just a thug on the street.”
Family members noted that he hadn’t been himself since September. They described his behavior changes; he displayed severe mood swings, and was easily agitated. The obedient young man he had been had become difficult.
Betty Turner, 56, LeGrier’s great-aunt, Betty Turner added that she had been praying for him.
The morning of the incident LeGrier appeared agitated in the second-floor apartment. Family members observed that he was carrying a metal baseball bat and it concerned his father who called the police thinking that they would apprehend him and take him to the hospital to get appropriate help. (Phillip Coleman suffered a similar fate after his mother had called police seeking help for her obvious mentally disturbed son.)
“His father was scared, because that’s not his character,” said Cooksey who was not present at the time of the shooting. “We’re thinking the police are going to service us, take him to the hospital. They took his life.”
The senior LeGrier’s told the downstairs neighbor not to engage with his son, and to keep an eye out for police.
Witnesses said the woman who was shot was a bystander, and was the downstairs tenant of the building. Latisha Jones was awaken by gunshots , and she got up to find her mother lying near the door with a gunshot wound to the neck.
“She wasn’t saying anything,” Jones said. “I had to keep checking for a pulse.”
Jones put her hand up to her mother’s nose to make sure she was still breathing. There wasn’t time to panic or react, she said.
“I’m not gonna play about my mama,” she said at the scene with tears on her face.
Details to determine what led to the shooting of either victim were not available at the time f this writing. However questions are pending.
Why was the downstairs tenant shot, clearly she had no weapon or acted in a way that would cause her to be shot to death. Nothing has been reported as to why the young 19 year old LeGrier was shot, seven times.
One thing is clear . . . it is not clear why the shooting took place costing the lives of two people at the hands on the Chicago police.
The Independent Police Review Authority is investigating.