CHICAGO (CBS) — A Chicago police officer shot and killed a 17-year-old boy in the Archer Heights neighborhood Monday night, after he allegedly ignored orders to drop a knife.
Around 9:45 p.m., police responded to a call about someone breaking into cars in the 4100 block of South Karlov Avenue, according to Chicago Police News Affairs. When officers arrived, they spotted a man armed with a knife, who slashed the tire of their squad car, and damaged their front windshield, police said.
The suspect fled, and officers gave chase, police said. When the officers confronted him near 41st Street and Pulaski Road, he refused their orders to drop the knife, and began walking toward the officers, police said.
Pat Camden, spokesman for the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police, said the teen had a “crazed” look about him as he approached the officers with the knife.
A police officer shot the teen when he refused to drop the weapon. However, at least one witness said there were several officers at the scene, and the shooting was unnecessary.
“They didn’t need to shoot him. They didn’t. They basically had him face-to-face. There was no purpose why they had to shoot him,” Alma Benitez said.
Camden said the teen was a threat to the officers’ safety, and the shooting was justified.
“The officers are responding to somebody with a knife in a crazed condition, who stabs out tires on a vehicle and tires on a squad car. You obviously aren’t going to sit down and have a cup of coffee with them,” Camden said. “He is a very serious threat to the officers, and he leaves them no choice at that point but to defend themselves.”
The teen was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he died. His identity has not yet been released.
Police said the officers were not hurt, and a knife was recovered at the scene.
The Independent Police Review Authority was investigating the shooting.