A suspect was struck by an SUV and killed Friday night as he ran away from officers responding to an attempted vehicle burglary Friday night in west suburban Aurora, police said.
At 7:53 p.m., officers responded to a call of a burglary in progress in the 800 block of Taylor Avenue, according to Aurora police. The victim had received an alert from an app on his cellphone after a motion detector was activated in his backyard. Through the app, he saw a male suspect standing near his vehicle in the driveway behind his house.
When the victim walked outside, he saw three male suspects take off, police said.
Responding officers later saw three males matching their descriptions near a car on Russell Avenue, just a few blocks from where the original incident took place, police said. The officers flashed their spotlights on the suspects, who then ran into backyards on Russell.
After briefly trying to follow the suspects, the officers lost sight of them, police said.
A short time later, a woman driving near the intersection of Indian Trail and Highland Avenue saw the males run into the roadway, police said. One of the suspects, identified as 18-year-old Demaszjae Miller, was then struck by a passing 2018 Chevrolet Tahoe as he crossed Highland.
After witnessing the collision, the woman flagged down a pair of squad cars in the area, police said.
Miller was rushed to an Aurora hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 9:05 p.m., police said. He lived in Aurora.
While at the hospital, members of Miller’s family “became irate,” police said. One of them battered a sergeant, while two others were seen by hospital security jumping on a squad car and shattering the windshield. All three were taken into custody and charged.
The squad car had to be towed from the hospital, but no injuries were reported, police said.
On Saturday morning, Aurora police Chief Kristen Ziman dispelled false information about Miller’s death.
“APD did not shoot anyone,” Ziman said. “APD wasn’t pursuing anyone. APD did not strike the man with a squad car.”
“Facts matter, friends,” she added. “We are so sorry that a life was lost but I will not allow misinformation to be circulated. Please keep the family of the 18-year-old in your thoughts as well as the driver of the vehicle. This is a terrible tragedy.”
Police believe Miller and the other males were the same suspects from the attempted vehicle burglary on Taylor, police said. The other suspects haven’t been identified.
The Tahoe’s driver, a 40-year-old Aurora woman, was traveling with her 14-year-old son at the time of the crash, police said.
The woman, who was treated at the scene for a panic attack, was cooperative with investigators and showed no signs of impairment, police said. Her son was uninjured.
No charges were expected against her, police said.