CHICAGO (CBS) — Newly released tapes have offered a clearer picture of a chaotic and shocking scene that played out at a busy intersection in the Mount Greenwood neighborhood two months ago, when an off-duty police officer shot and killed 25-year-old Joshua Beal.
Wednesday night, the Independent Police Review Authority released 911 tapes and cell phone videos recorded as Beal and several relatives got involved in a verbal and physical altercation with an off-duty firefighter and an off-duty police officer at 111th and Troy streets on Nov. 5. IPRA also released multiple police reports from the incident.
The videos and 911 tapes paint a picture of total chaos outside a Chicago fire station.
Around 3 p.m. on Nov. 5, an off-duty police officer became involved in an altercation with Beal and several relatives who had just been at a funeral. The off-duty officer, who is white, called 911, saying his car was surrounded, and that someone was going to get shot.
“I am an off-duty police officer. I’m getting attacked by about 12 mother f****** in the car,” he said.
Minutes later, shots were fired, and Beal – who is black – laid dying on the streets.
Police have said Beal drew a gun during an argument with off-duty police and fire personnel outside the fire station. Police said Beal refused to drop the gun, despite orders by two off-duty officers – one of whom was in uniform. One of the off-duty officers, who was in plain clothes, fatally shot Beal.
After the shooting, the city’s 911 switchboard lit up with calls.
“He’s got a gun! He’s shooting, he’s shooting! Oh my God! He’s shooting!” one caller said.
“It was a lot. They just kept going; boom, boom, boom, boom, boom,” another caller said.
Cell phone video from the scene shows an off-duty officer with his gun drawn. Another image shows a person later identified as Beal holding what appears to be a handgun. At a bond hearing for Beal’s brother — who was charged with assaulting and trying to disarm a police officer during the fracas — prosecutors said Beal pulled the trigger, but the gun did not go off.
Several 911 calls from the incident reveal the pandemonium at the scene leading up to the shooting.
“We have like a total race fight going on here on 111th and Troy. People are in the middle of the street, beating the s*** out of each other,” one woman told 911.
Beal’s sister also apparently called 911 after he was shot, and could be heard telling people to keep back. Documents indicate Beal was shot 8 times, and the two off-duty officers fired a total of 18 shots.
“They just shot my brother. They just shot my brother. … 111th and Troy. He’s right here. Josh! Josh! He got shot in his neck!” she said. “Get away from my brother! Do not touch him. Get away from my brother.”
In the weeks that followed, there were a number of sometimes violent confrontations that broke out in Mount Greenwood as Black Lives Matter protesters clashed with mostly white Mount Greenwood residents voicing support for police.
The shooting remains under investigation by IPRA. The videos, 911 calls, and police reports released by IPRA are available here.