Chicago, IL – A 13-year-old boy was shot on Wednesday night by Chicago police who stopped the car he was riding in because it was wanted in a carjacking that occurred the day before.
The incident began just before 10:15 p.m. on May 18 when Chicago police spotted a gray 2008 Honda that was wanted in connection with a carjacking and kidnapping in Oak Park a day earlier, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
Police said a man in a black face mask stole a car with a three year old inside it near Lake Street and Oak Park Avenue at about 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday.
The car thief abandoned the stolen vehicle with the child still inside it about 15 minutes later in the 200-block of Madison Street, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
Police said witnesses saw the carjacker flee the scene in a 2008 gray Honda.
A police helicopter followed the suspect vehicle as it headed south on Independence Boulevard and radio recordings showed the dispatcher repeatedly asked if any police vehicles on the ground were following the car, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
Officers stopped the Honda in the 800-block of North Cicero in Austin.
Chicago police said a 13-year-old boy jumped out of the car’s passenger seat and ran, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
Officers chased him.
The driver of the suspect vehicle fled the scene and later ditched the Honda in the 3800-block of West Monroe Street in East Garfield Park, WLS reported.
There appeared to be some confusion at the scene as a dispatcher reported “shots fired at the police” and then said “shots fired by the police,” the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
A cell phone video of the shooting was posted to Instagram and showed the 13 year old running into a gas station as police chased him.
In the video, it appeared the teen may have turned back toward the six officers pursuing him just before he was shot.
The video showed he fell to the ground by a gas pump.
Officers dragged him away from the gas pump for safety and began administering First Aid while they waited for the ambulance to arrive.
The statement released by Chicago police later did not mention any shots fired at the police.
Officials have said the teen was not armed, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Merritt said the wounded child was transported to Stroger Hospital in critical but stable condition, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
Two officers were injured during the incident and were transported to the hospital for observation.
Both were listed in good condition on Wednesday morning, WLS reported.
The Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) said the officer who shot the 13 year old was part of the Chicago Police Department’s (CPD) Vehicle Hijacking Task Force Team, WLS reported.
He has been placed on administrative duty for 30 days while the officer-involved shooting is investigated.
“Officers engaged in a foot pursuit of one of the occupants of the vehicle,” COPA Chief Administrator Ephraim Eaddy said. “One officer discharged their firearm, striking the occupant, who is 13 years of age.”
“The officer’s body camera was activated, and COPA is in possession of 3rd party and POD video that captures the incident. No weapon was recovered on scene,” Eaddy said.
However, the law prohibits the video from being released to the public because the officer-involved shooting included a juvenile suspect, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
Anti-police activists were quick to point to the fatal shooting of 13-year-old Adam Toledo by Chicago police on March 29, 2021.
But bodycam video from that shooting showed Toledo was armed.
Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx announced in March that the Chicago police officer who fatally shot Toledo would not face any criminal charges, WFLD reported.
Foxx said the decision not to charge Chicago Police Officer Eric Stillman was made only after a thorough investigation by the state’s attorney’s office and an independent outside agency.
She said that “based on the facts, the evidence, and the law, we found that there’s no evidence to prove that Officer Stillman acted with criminal intent,” WFLD reported.
Foxx said that although Officer Stillman may have violated the Chicago Police Department’s (CPD) chase policy, her office did not find criminal charges against the officer were warranted.