Friends and family say Chicago police opened fire on guests at a party. Christian Farr reports.
Several people were wounded in a police-involved shooting early New Year's Day in Chicago's Roseland neighborhood, but accounts of exactly what happened and even the number of victims remained in dispute nearly 12 hours later.
In a statement to the media, police said three people were shot at a house party on the 100 block of West 105th Street. The family in the home said four people were wounded.
It was just before 2 a.m. when police say they heard gunshots on the block while chasing someone on foot. Officers said they approached one house and saw someone on a back porch holding a gun.
An officer shot that person when he or she refused to drop the weapon and pointed it at the officers, they said. Two other people were wounded in the incident, but it was unclear whether they had been shot by police, according to police News Affairs Officer Michael Sullivan.
But the homeowner said his cousins had just walked out the back when shots were fired by police.
"They went out that door to go smoke," said Charles Lewis. "No sooner did that door close I heard shots. The door opened back up. They were coming this way ... and the police stood in my doorway and continued to shoot."
Lewis said the wounded were all siblings: Michael Williamson, 26, who is a sailor in the United States Navy; Princeton Williamson, 24, who was possibly hit in the stomach; Kierra Williamson, 22, who was shot in the stomach; and Thaddeus Williamson, 24, who was shot in the face.
Two of the men were taken in critical condition to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Fire Media Affairs Spokesman Juan Hernandez said. A woman was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in critical condition, he said.
Police said a weapon was recovered at the scene but Lewis told NBC Chicago that no one had a gun in the house. The cousin said officers rushed into the home and started shooting.
"They didn't come in here and shoot no drug dealers or gang bangers. They came in and shot anything they seen standing," said Lewis.
No police officers were injured in the shooting, the statement from police said.
That incident wasn't the only officer-involved shooting of the New Year holiday. Moments before midnight, a police officer shot a man in the Woodlawn neighborhood on the city's south side.
Fraternal Order of Police spokesman Pat Camden said police saw a man celebrating the new year by shooting a gun near 67th and Rhodes. After officers told him to drop the weapon, he raised it in their direction and an officer shot the man in the leg.
He was taken to John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County with a non-life-threatening gunshot wound, police said. A weapon was recovered on the scene, offiicials said.