Chicago police officers responding to calls about a domestic disturbance early Saturday morning shot and killed Quintonio LeGrier, 19, along with Bettie Jones, 55, who lived in a neighboring apartment.
Police were initially called by Quintonio’s father, Antonio LeGrier, who claimed that his son began banging on his locked bedroom door around 4:15 a.m. Saturday morning, and then left and went downstairs to the apartment where Jones lived.
LeGrier told the Chicago Sun-Times that his son, a student at Northern Illinois University, was a “whiz kid” who had emotional problems from growing up in foster care, and that he was prescribed medication in November.
LeGrier said that in addition to calling police, he also called Jones to warn her, and he said Jones claimed she saw Quintonio standing outside her door with a baseball bat.
LeGrier began to run downstairs when police arrived, but that he stopped when he heard gunfire, followed by one officer saying, “F—, no, no, no. I thought he was lunging at me with the bat.” However, LeGrier told the Times he believes that the officer “knew he had shot blindly, recklessly into the doorway and now two people are dead because of it.”
The official statement from police described Quintonio LeGrier as a “combative subject,” which resulted in “the discharging of the officer’s weapon which fatally wounded two individuals.” Jones was shot at least once, and LeGrier was shot seven times.
The statement said Jones, a mother of five and a grandmother, was “accidentally struck and tragically killed.”
During a news conference on Sunday, Jones’s friend Jacqueline Walker questioned why police “have to shoot first and ask questions later,” calling current techniques “ridiculous.”
Sam Adam Jr., a lawyer representing Jones’s family, claimed that “shell casings were found some 20 feet away,” which he said raises “questions about whether police could have perceived LeGrier as a threat at such a distance.”
While the Chicago police department has not said how many officers were involved in the shooting, it did issue a statement claiming that the officers involved “will be placed on routine administrative duties for a period of 30 days.”
This shooting comes at a time the Chicago police department is already under a federal investigation by the Department of Justice, which was launched after a Chicago police officer was charged with first degree murder for the first time in 35 years.