CHICAGO (CBS) — The family of a 15-year-old boy accidentally shot by Des Plaines police last week is speaking out for the first time – and they’re questioning the story they’ve been told by police.
CBS 2 Investigator Megan Hickey has been following this case from the very beginning, and on Monday, she dug into the question of whether police were in the right.
Rylan Wilder is the lead guitarist and vocalist for his band, Monarchy Over Monday. And at just 15, he was the youngest person to have ever played at the music festival Riot Fest in Douglas Park.
But after a bullet fired by a Des Plaines police officer shattered his left arm Tuesday night one of Rylan’s first questions, according to his mother, Lucia Morales, was “Will I ever be able to play guitar again?”
Rylan’s doctors still don’t know.
Morales confirmed some of the arteries in the arm are gone and a metal rod was surgically put in his wrist. She said Rylan still does not have feeling in certain fingers and “at this moment, we don’t know if he will recover from that.”
He was likely struck by two bullets. The other one hit him in the abdomen and narrowly missed his major organs.
Rylan was interning at UpBeat Music and Arts, 4318 W. Irving Park Rd. when a man suspected of robbing a Des Plaines bank ran into the music school, pursued by police.
The robbery suspect, Christopher Willis, led police from multiple jurisdictions on a chase from Des Plaines to the Old Irving Park neighborhood after police say he robbed a bank on Oakton Street in the northwest suburb.
Chicago Police were waiting as Willis got off the Kennedy Expressway, and police say Willis shot and wounded a CPD officer. That officer has since been released from the hospital.
Willis then went into the music school, and a Des Plaines police officer went in after him and shot and killed him. But that officer also accidentally shot Rylan in the process, investigators said.
Wiping away tears, Rylan’s father was unable to speak during the announcement this morning that the family was filing a lawsuit.
His mother described the moment she first saw her son in the hospital.
“No one can ever imagine what it’s like to see their child on a table like that,” Morales said. “The amount of doctors working on him the amount of blood everywhere was unbelievable.
The family’s lawsuit contains text messages from that night, between Rylan and his mother.
Before the shooting, Rylan asks, “could you pick me up at 7:15 please?”
His mom writes back, “yes — daddy will pick you up — he wants to see how the mini is running.”
Rylan says, “cool thanks” with a kiss emoji.
But nearly an hour later, mom writes “Hey is everything OK? Dad’s trying to get there, but everything is blocked off by police.”
The family named the surviving bank robber, Maurice Murphy, in the suit. Murphy, 32, has been charged federally for stealing more than $15,000 from the bank.
The Wilder family’s attorney, Tim Cavanagh, explained that naming Murphy is actually a legal tactic to force all of the agencies involved in the police chase and shooting to produce evidence.
The point, he said, is “to determine whether or not Chicago or the Des Plaines police department have any culpability in this.”
One of the pieces of evidence their asking for is the Des Plaines Police Department pursuit policy, which the CBS 2 Investigators obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request.
The first paragraph of that policy says balancing the safety of the public is as important as catching the suspect, and “hazards to uninvolved bystanders and motorists” should be a factor in terminating a pursuit.
Meanwhile, surviving bank robbery suspect Murphy was in federal court on Monday. His attorney told Hickey they are not contesting the fact that there is probable cause in this case, and that Murphy does not have money for bond. So he will remain in federal custody.
Murphy also spoke with the Des Plaines Police Chief William Kushner, who said he was aware of the motion to preserve all evidence but he had no comment on the complaint filed Monday.