Unarmed 13-year-old boy shot and seriously wounded by Chicago police after officers stop car wanted for carjacking in Oak Park

An unarmed 13-year-old boy was shot and seriously wounded by Chicago police after officers stopped a car wanted for a carjacking in Oak Park a day earlier, according to law enforcement sources.

The boy was shot around 10:15 pm Wednesday after he jumped from the car and began running in the 800 block of North Cicero Avenue in Austin, according to a statement from police. The statement gives no details of the confrontation, but a source said no shots were fired at the officers and no weapon was recovered.

The boy was taken to Stroger Hospital in serious but stable condition, according to fire officials.

Another person ran from the car and was not caught.The driver sped off in the wanted car, which was later found abandoned in the 3800 block of West Monroe Street about two miles away near Garfield Park, police said.

The car had been used in a carjacking the day before in Oak Park, according to the authorities in the western suburb. A man in a black face mask stole a car left running with a 3-year-old inside near Lake Street and Oak Park Avenue around 7:30 pm Tuesday, police said.

The child was found unharmed about 15 minutes later inside the car, which had been abandoned in the 200 block of Madison Street, police said.

The carjacker was seen getting into a silver 2008 Honda, which was spotted by Chicago police Wednesday night. As police chased it, the car stopped and the boy got out and started running, police said.

Authorities have released few details about what happened next or what threat the boy posed.

According to radio traffic, a police helicopter picked up the car as it headed south on Independence Boulevard. In the minutes that follow, the helicopter pilot and a dispatcher repeatedly ask whether any officers on the ground are pursuing the car, which they say is wanted for a carjacking and the kidnapping of a child in Oak Park.

“Is anybody behind this car? Can we get close to it?” a dispatcher says.

She also asks whether a sergeant is available to monitor the pursuit. A sergeant checks in over the air around the time the wanted car stops on Cicero near Chicago Avenue.

There is some confusion as a 10-1 is called for an officer in need of assistance. A dispatcher at first says “shots fired at the police,” but then says “shots fired by the police” as officers chased a suspect who got out of the car.

A police statement issued hours later makes no mention of shots fired at police, and a law enforcement source said investigators have mentioned nothing about officers being shot at.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s office did not release any details about the shooting in a statement released late Thursday afternoon. She said only that she was in contact with Police Supt. David Brown and the Civilian Office of Police Accountability, which reviews such incidents.

As is routine, the one officer who opened fire will be placed on administrative duties for 30 days, COPA said.

The agency said it has received police body camera video, as well as video from a police surveillance camera and a third-party camera. But because the shooting involves a juvenile, COPA said it is prohibited by law from making the video public, even though a city policy requires most video to be released within 60 days.

COPA also cited state law when it initially refused to release video of a Chicago police officer fatally shooting 13-year-old Adam Toledo as he ran from police in Little Village more than a year ago.

But days later, the agency’s general counsel concluded that the law did not bar publication of body-worn and third-party video footage the agency has obtained to date. The video was released and footage showed Adam dropping a gun a second before the officer opened fire.

It was not clear why COPA said it will not release video of Wednesday night’s shooting, though police records involving juveniles are generally kept from the public. No charges have been announced against the teen.

Another question raised by the shooting is the department’s policy on foot chases and whether the officers followed it. The department revised its foot pursuit policy after backlash from the fatal police shootings of Adam and, days later, of 22-year-old Anthony Alvarez.

The revised policy, unveiled earlier this year, emphasizes the inherent danger of foot chases and prohibits officers from starting them for minor offenses such as traffic stops. The policy also expands police supervisors’ role in ensuring proper guidance and communication when a pursuit begins.

The area of ​​Chicago and Cicero avenues where the teen was shot is ringed by businesses with security cameras.

Veah Larde, owner of Two Sisters, a catering and pastry shop at the corner, had conflicting reactions to the shooting.

“I was shocked. But not. Because I feel like we’ve become a society where we don’t investigate before we act,” she said. “It’s like, ‘I’m in the moment!’ And I can’t say I’m in that police officer’s shoes, and I have multiple cops in my family and we have these conversations all the time, but sometimes I feel like a moment more of a pause, just to assess the situation, may have led to a better outcome.

“But again, I’m not in the heat of it, so I don’t know what the adrenaline level is, what you’re thinking, what you saw. Because we all know, the hand is quicker than the eye,” she added.

Larde said she grew up in the neighborhood and its vibe can change depending on the day.

“There are some days when there’s nothing going on and you’re like, ‘This is a normal neighborhood.’ And there are those days when the weather changes, somebody woke up with a bad attitude. Or just, it just is. And you just have to be careful about what you’re doing and how you’re doing it,” she said.

Larde said she wished there was more of a police presence in the area, especially since kids have begun hanging out at the corner, sometimes causing trouble, as the weather warms.

A longtime resident who lives within a block of the shooting said she was watching “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” when the sound of her television was drowned out by a police helicopter that “sounded like it was in my house.”

She’d heard details of the shooting through neighborhood chatter, but hadn’t heard the age of the boy who was shot until talking with the Sun-Times.

“He’s 13? Oh no, oh no. Thirteen years old,” said the woman, who asked not to be named. “They didn’t have to shoot him if he was running and didn’t have a weapon. But maybe they didn’t know, I don’t know. When my kids was coming up, they couldn’t be out at 13.”

The woman said her block is quiet, but the block around the corner has had regular bouts of gun violence. “They’ve been shooting around there forever,” she said. “It cools down and starts back up.”

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