Chicago now reels from the loss of 16-year-old Pierre Loury, the third person to die this year in a Chicago police-involved shooting.
An officer whose identity has not yet been released to the public fatally shot Loury in the chest Monday night after a brief foot chase. The officer says that Loury pulled a gun on him while fleeing.
According to First Deputy Superintendent John Escalante, a semi-automatic weapon was found near Loury’s body after he was gunned down by the officer. The superintendent also said that the 16-year-old had had prior contact with law enforcement and was a known gang member.
Police said Loury fled on foot from a car that matched the description of a vehicle involved in another shooting on Monday night. Police scanner traffic audio recordings from that night were obtained by the Chicago Tribune and are available here.
A woman who claims she was an eyewitness to the shooting spoke with the Chicago Tribune under the condition of anonymity, claiming that she feared backlash from the police.
Despite denying having seen anything at all to the police on Monday night, the woman told the Tribune that Loury had been scaling a fence when he was shot. She was close enough to recognize the teen as someone she knew from the neighborhood, but did not see him holding a gun.
She had looked out the window in time to see the shooting around 7:40 PM, she said, after hearing police sirens and then someone yelling, “we got a jumper, we got a jumper.”
“They shot him in the air,” she said. “His pants leg got caught on the fence and he hit the ground. If he hadn’t gotten shot, he would have cleared the fence.”
Another source within law enforcement agreed with the witness, telling the Tribune that the teen had been trying to hop a fence when he was shot. His clothing had been entangled in the fence, the source corroborated.
Lousy was pronounced dead at Mount Sinai Hospital at 8:27 PM.
— Chicago Sun-Times (@Suntimes) April 13, 2016
According to Escalante, the officer who fired on Loury will be placed on desk duty for a minimum of 30 days.
Since a Chicago police officer shot and killed 19-year-old college student Quintonio LeGrier and his 55-year-old neighbor, a bystander, the day after Christmas last year, it has been a new departmental policy that officers involved in a shooting remain on paid desk duty for at least 30 days.
The Independent Police Review Authority is investigating Loury’s death. The officer who shot the teen was reportedly not wearing a body camera.
Pierre Loury’s friends and family gathered in front of his mother’s home in East Garfield Park on Tuesday, along with members of the press.
— Sarah-Ji (@sarahdashji) April 13, 2016
“Everything they said on the news is not the truth,” said Loury’s mother Tambrasha Hudson through her tears. “It is not the truth. It’s not the truth.
“It’s sad!” she said repeatedly. “My baby was 16, not 30. My baby was 16! Sixteen!”
Classmates said Loury had steady attendance at Chicago Christian Alternative Academy and was quiet and reserved at school. Regina McKinney, 18, said she had known Loury since they were in grade school, and said she didn’t believe the version of events offered by police.
“I know [Loury] well enough to know he wasn’t like that,” McKinney said. “You know what I think it was? A case of mistaken identity. They saw him running, and they chased him. Of course if you see the police roll up on you, nine times out of 10, you’re going to run.”
Tuesday night a vigil was held in around where Loury was killed, drawing over 100 people. It was sponsored by groups such as Black Lives Matter Chicago and the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression.
“We just want justice, that’s it, point blank, period,” Loury’s step-father Vantrese Frazier, told CBS News. “We don’t want no money. We don’t want nothing. We want the corruption to stop.”
Among the attendees was Janet Cooksey, the mother of the slain college student Quintonio Grier, the young man shot by a police officer the day after Christmas. Cooksey held a picture of her son and said, “The one thing I asked the mayor to do for me is is to not let another mother go through what I’m going through. It’s time for these cops to go to jail.”
— Grace Wong (@GraceWong630) April 13, 2016
Two people were arrested later as the attendees of the vigil turned to protestors chanting “justice for Pierre.” By nightfall around 300 people had amassed in the street.
The protesters walked onto the 290 expressway around 8 PM causing traffic delays as the police officers trying to stop them blocked lanes with their vehicles.
— Samuel Sinyangwe (@samswey) April 13, 2016