Chicago, IL – Chicago Office of Police Accountability (COPA) released bodycam video on Thursday afternoon of the officer-involved fatal shooting of 13-year-old Adam Toledo (video below).
The Chicago Police Department (CPD) were responding to a ShotSpotter alert in Little Village at approximately 2:35 a.m. on March 29, when they encountered two males, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
One of the males, later identified as Toledo, was armed with a handgun and took off running, according to police.
During the ensuing “armed confrontation” in the alley west of the 2300-block of South Sawyer Avenue, one of the officers fired a single round, striking Toledo in the chest, police said.
He died from his wounds at the scene, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
The CPD shared a photo of the handgun the teen had allegedly been carrying at the time of the shooting.
Elizabeth Toledo, Toledo’s 44-year-old mother, identified her son at the morgue two days later after she filed a missing person report with police, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
His mother told police her son often snuck out of their home and that she ended up filing a missing person’s report on him after he took off again on March 25, WLS reported.
She said Toledo had returned home two days later, but that he was gone again by the night of March 28.
Before the next morning, he was dead.
COPA released bodycam video of the shooting on April 15.
Elizabeth Toledo had asked the police oversight group not to release the video of her son’s shooting but COPA said it was legally obligated to release it to the public, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
Bodycam video showed the officer chasing Toledo down the alley, yelling at him to drop his weapon.
“Freeze stop! Stop right f–king now!” the officer yelled in the video as he chased the fleeing suspect.
Surveillance video from across a parking lot next to the alley showed Toledo running from police.
That video showed Toledo stopped beside an opening in the parking lot fence.
“Hey show me your f–king hands! Drop it, drop it!” the officer yelled as he caught up with Toledo, who appeared in the video to be about to dash behind the fenceline.
Toledo turned his right side away from the officer, his right elbow raised behind his back as if he was drawing a gun, and his right hand contained what appeared to be a gun.
The teen then quickly raised his arm up from his right side, and his hand was empty.
At some point while raising his hand, Toledo apparently tossed the gun down the fenceline, out of the view of the officer and the camera.
The video showed that the officer could only see Toledo turn quickly while raising the right hand which had held a pistol a split-second earlier.
The officer fired one shot and only then, as the suspect turned and fell, could he see that Toledo wasn’t holding a gun.
The officer immediately began providing First Aid and radioed for an ambulance and an officer to rush over a medic bag for a “sucking chest wound to the upper chest.”
The video showed multiple officers responded quickly to assist and worked together to apply a seal to the gunshot wound.
Questions about the use of force were immediately raised after the video revealed that Toledo wasn’t armed at the moment he was shot.
But Chicago Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) President John Catanzara said the shooting was completely justified, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
“He was 100 percent right,” Catanzara said. “The offender still turned with a gun in his hand. This occurred in eight-tenths of a second.”
Sources told the Chicago Sun-Times that the officer who shot Toledo is a 34-year-old, six-year veteran of the police force who has never had a civilian complaint.
The officer has a military background and previously received the Superintendent’s Award of Valor from the Chicago PD.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot called the images in the video “excruciating” to watch, NBC News reported.
But Lightfoot credited the officer who shot Toledo with moving quickly to provide aid.
Watch the incident unfold in the video below. WARNING – Graphic Content and Obscene Language: