Further details emerged Sunday in the fatal police shooting that left two people, a teenager and his 56-year-old neighbor, dead this weekend, as the victim’s families demanded answers from the police department and mayor’s office. The Chicago Police Department is already under a separate federal civil rights investigation.
Early Saturday morning, 19-year-old Quintonio LeGrier’s father called the police after his son became agitated during an argument and began brandishing an aluminum bat. In a statement, Chicago police said that officers responding to the call “were confronted by a combative subject resulting in the discharging of the officer’s weapon.”
Police also fatally shot 55-year-old Bettie Jones, who lived downstairs. “The 55-year-old female victim was accidentally struck and tragically killed,” the police statement said. The statement also extended “deepest condolences to the victim’s family and friends.”
Family members said Jones was alongside LeGrier near a front door, yelling “No! No! No!” as she tried to intervene in the situation between the teen and officers.
Albert Person, LeGrier’s cousin and a friend of Jones’, said he was told LeGrier was shot seven times and Jones was struck four times.
Person questioned why police fired at the two, claiming they did so from across the front yard as his relative stood in the doorway. LeGrier was holding a baseball bat but was not an immediate threat to officers, he said.
According to the Associated Press, the father, Antonio LeGrier, described his son as a “whiz kid” visiting on break from Northern Illinois University, where he was an electrical engineering technology major. The young man reportedly spent most of his childhood in foster care, and struggled with mental health issues.
“For them to kill him and then disrespect him and say his behavior was that way—no, it was not,” she said. “He might’ve been angry with his father and they might’ve got into it...But he never had combative behavior.”