Calumet City Teen Shot, Killed By Police

Argument between son, father about computer use ended with police being called to home

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    Family Photo
    Stephon Watts on Thanksgiving 2011

    UPDATE: Community, Family Protests Police Action

    An argument about computer use ended with a 15-year-old boy shot dead by police in Calumet City, family and officials said Wednesday.

    Stephon Watts, who the family said was autistic, was reportedly asked by his father to stop using the computer. Watts' father had been told in the past to call police when he had problems with the teen.

    He did, and officers responded to the home in the 500 block of Forsythe Avenue in the far south suburb.

    Calumet City Police Chief Edward Gilmore said officers had been to the home 12 times since June 2010. Ten of those times, he said, were in regards to the boy.

    Family members said the teen charged at one of the officers with a butter knife and was shot twice in the head by police.

    Gilmore disputed the family's account, saying he believed the teen was shot in the torso after he lashed out at one of the officers with a kitchen knife, not a butter knife. The offer was cut in the left forearm, he said.

    The chief said his officers acted in self defense. But Watts' family said shooting the boy was too severe.

    "They knew how he was," said the teen's uncle, Wayne Watts, referring to the boy's autism. "They could have [used their Taser] on him."

    Watts was taken to Franciscan St. Margaret Health Hospital where he pronounced dead.

    The two officers have been placed on administrative leave with pay.

     

     


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