Cop Kills Captain of High School Hoops Squad

Victim pointed gun at cops, police say

Saturday, Sep 12, 2009  |  Updated 10:51 AM CDT
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Cop Kills Captain of High School Hoops Squad

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Police say the officer shot the teen after he pointed a gun at them.

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An off-duty Chicago police officer fatally shot a 17-year-old boy who was the captain of his high school basketball team on Friday.

Chicago police said that the teen -- who his family identified as Corey Harris, a junior at Walter Dyett High School -- was killed after the off-duty officer saw him shooting at another person at 69th and King Drive at around 3:30 p.m.

A police spokesman said police chased the teen to the 6800 block of South Eberhart, where he pointed his gun at the officer and was shot. A gun was recovered at the scene, police said.

Harris' family and friends disputed that account, saying the three-year varsity athlete at Dyett had no police record and had never been involved with gangs.

"You can go to the school the principal, the teachers, the security -- nobody could give you bad report about my kid," said Harris' mother, Natasha Williams.

Williams said she talked to a woman in whose yard her son's body lay after he was shot.

"The lady said my son did not have a gun, that a lot of boys were running and the officer was just shooting in the crowd of boys." The woman also told Williams that police appeared to recover a weapon from the top of a nearby garage.

A police spokeswoman would not comment on Williams' charges early Saturday, saying the shooting was under investigation by the Independent Police Review Authority.

Peter Thomas, an Oak Park businessman who formerly owned a restaurant where Natasha Williams worked, said he has known Harris for years.

"He's been in my home dozens of times," Thomas said. "I've been on vacation with him. Corey was a straight arrow. He had none of the machismo or swagger of a gangbanger. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time."

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