A Chicago police officer responding to a domestic disturbance Saturday shot and killed a black man and mother-of-five, who was ‘accidentally struck.’
Bettie Jones, 55, was pronounced dead at Loretto Hospital at 4.51am and Quintonio LeGrier, 19, was declared dead at Stroger Hospital at 5.14am.
Jones was a neighbor of LeGrier’s and lived in a first-floor apartment with her boyfriend.
‘The 55-year-old female victim was accidentally struck and tragically killed,’ a police statement released Saturday afternoon reads.
‘The department extends its deepest condolences to the victim’s family and friends.’
The case was referred to the city’s police oversight agency and police originally said in a statement that the shootings happened after responding officers ‘were confronted by a combative subject’.
Although police have not released specific details, LeGrier was threatening his father with a metal bat and that the shooting happened after he came out of the front door toward the sidewalk.
Jones had five children aged 19-38, including twins
LeGrier’s mother, whose son was studying engineering at Northern Illinois University, said she was told LeGrier had been shot seven times.
Janet Cooksey told the Chicago Tribune that Legrier graduated from Gwendolyn Brooks College Preparatory Academy in Chicago and ‘was going somewhere’.
Cooksey said her son was ‘having a mental situation’ and told WLS-TV that sometimes he would ‘get loud, but not violent’.
She added: ‘They did tell me he was shot seven times. That’s a bit much. That’s a bit much.
‘I don’t take all of that. My son only weighed about 150 pounds…
‘Why do you have to be shot that many times? Why?
‘If the police is trained in the field, then how, they’re just handling the situation by killing people?’
Jones’ brother said his sister was the mother of four daughters and a son and that they range in age from 19 to 38 and include 19-year-old twins.
Melvin Jones said he’s ‘numb right now’ and there is ‘a whole lot of anger, a whole lot of tears’.
He told the Chicago Tribune more than a dozen family members celebrated Christmas with Jones on Friday and that his deceased sister ‘had an excellent Christmas’.
‘You see it on the news and think that something needs to be done,’ he added.
‘I don’t have time to feel. I have a funeral to prepare.’
One of Jones’ daughter, Latesha Jones, said her mother was still breathing when she was taken away by paramedics, according to NBC 5.
According to Latesha, her mother was shot when she opened the front door for police and the family plans to file a lawsuit over her death.
Independent Police Review Authority spokesman Larry Merritt confirmed Saturday that the agency was investigating but had no further information.
The race of the officer who fired the fatal shots has not been disclosed and it is not clear if police were equipped with Tasers or had knowledge that LeGrier may have had mental issues.
A police source said investigators were waiting for the autopsy to determine how many times LeGrier was shot, the Tribune reported.
The source also said there was no gun recovered at the scene.
The Chicago Police Department is the subject of a federal civil rights investigation, which came after the release of a video showing a white officer shooting black teenager Laquan McDonald 16 times in 2014.
Saturday’s shooting was Chicago’s first fatal police shooting since the release of that video.
The medical examiner’s office said autopsies have not been scheduled yet.