What to Know
- On March 29, 13-year-old Adam Toledo was shot and killed by Chicago police
- On April 15, the city of Chicago released video of the fatal police shooting, which appeared to show the teen raising his hands in the moment he was shot
- An investigation into the shooting remains ongoing, authorities say
During the early morning hours of March 29, 13-year-old Adam Toledo was shot and killed by Chicago police.
In the weeks that followed, the teen's shooting would spark cries for justice, transparency and peace as a trail of information and misinformation led to the release of police body camera video and other footage that offered a glimpse into what exactly transpired.
Here's a look back at how the situation unfolded:
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March 29: Adam Toledo is Shot and Killed by Chicago Police
According to police, officers responded to an alert of shots fired at 2:37 a.m. in the 2300 block of South Sawyer. The officers arrived at the scene and reported they saw two males in a nearby alley.
Both fled, according to police, who said the officers chased them. During that chase, one of the officers opened fire, shooting one person in the chest. He was pronounced dead at the scene and a weapon was recovered, officials said.
No identity on the person shot was released at this time.
The other person who also ran from police was arrested and charged with a misdemeanor count of resisting arrest, police said. The officer involved in the shooting was placed on desk duty for 30 days while the Civilian Office of Police Accountability investigated, police said.
April 1: Person Shot by Police in Little Village Identified as 13-Year-Old Boy; Agency Says Video Can't Be Released
The Cook County Medical Examiner's office identified the person shot by police as 13-year-old Adam Toledo. The office listed Adam's cause of death as a gunshot wound to the chest, ruling his death a homicide.
COPA said the incident was captured on body camera footage but because of Adam's age, state law prevented the agency "from publicly releasing videos involving a juvenile" without a court order.
COPA said materials that can be released - 911 calls and incident reports, among others - will be released within 60 days of the shooting under city policy.
In a second statement that same day, COPA spokesman Ephraim Eaddy said the agency was "currently making every effort and researching all legal avenues that will allow for the public release of all video materials which capture the tragic fatal shooting of 13 year old Adam Toledo."
April 2: Residents, Officials Call for Release of Videos as Toledo's Mother Pleads for Answers
Members of the Little Village community begin pushing for authorities to release the footage, but none has been released at this time.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot tweeted her condolences to Adam Toledo's family. Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown echoed Lightfoot’s comments, saying that the shooting represents one of his greatest fears as superintendent.
Elizabeth Toledo, Adam's mother, asked that COPA and the Chicago Police Department provide transparency on her son's death, after receiving limited information.
"I just want to know what really happened to my baby," Toledo said. "They had a lot of options, but not kill him. They could have shot him in his legs, his arms, up in the air, I don't know but not kill my baby."
April 2: COPA Reverses Course, Says Video Will be Released
Chicago's police oversight agency said it will release video of the fatal shooting of a 13-year-old boy by Chicago police in the city's Little Village neighborhood.
"COPA’s General Counsel concluded that the Juvenile Court Act does not bar publication of the body worn and third-party video camera footage the agency has obtained to date," the agency tweeted. "COPA will therefore follow established city policy, which requires public posting of material not later than 60 days after the incident."
April 5: Lightfoot Calls for Foot-Chase Policy Review Following Toledo Shooting
Mayor Lori Lightfoot called for a review of the Chicago Police Department’s foot-chase policy one week after Adam Toledo's shooting by police.
In a news conference, Lightfoot also called on police to find the adult who gave the 13-year-old a gun and bring that person or people to justice.
“Incidents like these are a reminder that we need to work that much harder to prevent tragedy,” Lightfoot said. “An adult put a gun in a child’s hand… a weapon that irreparably changed the course of his life.”
Lightfoot said that CPD’s foot chase policy was in need for reforms after it was pushed aside for reforms in the 2013 federal consent decree. Lightfoot said there are hundreds of police foot chases a year, and that they bring “a dangerous environment for all involved.”
April 5: New Details on Chicago Police Narrative of Adam Toledo Shooting Released
Brown released new information in the department's narrative of the fatal police shooting of Adam Toledo, detailing why the 13-year-old wasn't identified for two days but declining to say whether or not the boy was holding the gun recovered at the scene, even as Mayor Lori Lightfoot repeatedly vowed to find the person responsible for "putting that gun in Adam's hands."
"Why did it take so long for the Chicago Police Department to identify Adam and what happened between that time and the identification? The answer is this: At the time, Adam had no identification on him," Brown said. "The 21-year-old man who was with him, and was arrested for resisting, provided a different name from Adam, gave a false, phony name. And we lost considerable time trying to identify Adam because of the wrong name."
Brown said police fingerprinted Adam three times and found no matching records in any database. At that point, he said the department began to review missing persons reports and reached out to nearby suburbs to try and identify the boy.
Detectives searched open missing persons cases and were unable to identify Adam, according to Brown, so they began to review cases in which a person who was reported missing had returned home.
Brown said investigators found a missing persons report from March 26, in which Adam's mother Elizabeth Toledo had walked into the 10th District at 6:58 p.m. and reported her son missing. Brown said the report was entered into the system at 7:17 p.m. that same day. The following day, a detective contacted her to follow up, at which point Brown said she told detectives that Adam had returned home, so his name was removed from the system tracking active missing persons cases.
On March 31, two days after police fatally shot Adam, detectives contacted Elizabeth Toledo and told her that the description of her son in that previously filed report "matched an unidentified person in the morgue," Brown said.
He said that Elizabeth Toledo "told detectives her son had returned home and then left again, either late on March 27 or early on March 28, and she had not seen him in several days."
She had not filed a second missing persons report, Brown said, but met detectives at the morgue where she identified her son at around 3:30 p.m.
April 9: Adam Toledo Laid to Rest at Funeral
Adam Toledo was laid to rest during a private service.
That same day, attorneys for the family revealed they will see body camera footage of the shooting the following week.
April 10: Man Who Was With Adam Toledo at Time of Police Shooting Hit With Felony Gun Charges
A 21-year-old man who was outside with Adam Toledo when the 13-year-old was fatally shot by Chicago police appeared in court on felony gun charges in connection with the incident.
Ruben Roman was charged with reckless discharge of a firearm and unlawful use of a weapon by a felon, as well as endangerment of a child and violating probation, Chicago police said.
Prosecutors provided a detailed account of what precipitated the fatal shooting as a judge set bond at $150,000. In court, attorneys said Adam had a gun in his right hand and turned toward the officer before he was shot.
April 13: Family Sees Body Camera Footage
The Toledo family was shown video footage of the teen's shooting, but COPA, at the family's request, said they would not release the footage or other materials like 911 calls and witness statements to the public at this time.
April 14: COPA Says Video Will Be Released on April 15
Video showing the fatal police shooting of 13-year-old Adam Toledo is expected to be released Thursday, COPA said.
10:15 a.m. on April 15: Lightfoot, Toledo Family Release Joint Statement Ahead of Video's Release
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and the family of Adam Toledo called for people to "express themselves peacefully" as the city awaits the release of video of the deadly shooting.
"Yesterday, the City of Chicago’s Corporation Counsel, Celia Meza, met with Adeena Weiss Ortiz and Joel Hirschhorn, legal representatives for the Toledo family," Lightfoot and Adam's family said in a joint statement issued Thursday morning. "Based on the Civilian Office of Police Accountability’s announcement that it will be releasing the videos, both parties agree that all material should be released, including a slowed-down compilation of the events of March 29 that resulted in the tragic death of 13-year-old Adam Toledo."
"We acknowledge that the release of this video is the first step in the process toward the healing of the family, the community and our city. We understand that the release of this video will be incredibly painful and elicit an emotional response to all who view it, and we ask that people express themselves peacefully," the statement continued.
"COPA's investigation is ongoing as we seek to determine the full facts in this case. To that end, we call for full cooperation with COPA. We remain committed to working together toward reform. We ask that you continue to respect the Toledo family’s privacy during this incredibly painful and difficult time," the statement concluded.
12 p.m. on April 15: Lightfoot Says ‘No Evidence Whatsoever' Adam Toledo Fired Gun at Police
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she has seen "no evidence whatsoever" that 13-year-old Adam Toledo fired a gun at police before an officer fatally shot him, but she declined to say if the teen was holding a weapon at the time of the shooting.
"Look, I don't want to get into the real substance of this because the independent investigation is going on, but I've seen no evidence whatsoever that Adam Toledo shot at the police," Lightfoot said during a press conference urging peaceful response ahead of the footage's release.
Lightfoot again acknowledged that she has seen the videos, which she called "incredibly difficult to watch," but declined to offer specifics surrounding the circumstances leading up to the shooting.
The mayor noted that officers at the scene rendered aid in the moments following the shooting.
"When you see, and I urge you to watch it, watch all the footage, you're going to see that officer sprang into action to try to revive," Lightfoot said.
2 p.m. on April 15: Prosecutor ‘Failed to Fully Inform Himself' in Adam Toledo Shooting, Office Says
An attorney who appeared in court over the weekend in a case related to the fatal police shooting of Adam Toledo "failed to fully inform himself" before speaking, the Cook County State's Attorney's office said.
"An attorney who works in this office failed to fully inform himself before speaking in court," a spokesperson for the office said in a statement in response to questions over whether or not the teen was in fact holding a gun at the time of the shooting. "Errors like that cannot happen and this has been addressed with the individual involved. The video speaks for itself."
2:30 p.m. on April 15: Video of Adam Toledo's Shooting is Released to the Public
Body-camera footage of the shooting was made public, along with multiple third-party surveillance videos and other materials related to the investigation.
- For a complete timeline of what the videos show click here.
WARNING: The video below contains graphic content and may be disturbing to some viewers. PLEASE NOTE: NBC 5 is not showing the moment Adam Toledo is shot. The audio of the scene will continue to play as the video pauses.
The footage shows an officer chasing Adam in an alley while shouting at him to stop. Adam appears to pause near a fence bordering a parking lot at the end of the alley and turn toward the officer with his hands up.
The officer can be heard yelling, "Hey show me your f***ing hands, drop it, drop it," firing one shot as Adam turns and puts his hands up. As Adam turns and raises his hands, he's illuminated by a flashing light and the body camera footage appears to show that both of the boy's hands are empty.
Adam falls to the ground and the officer immediately moves toward him and calls for medical assistance, saying "shots fired by the police" as he requests an ambulance. The officer asks Adam if he is alright and where he was shot.
About two-and-a-half minutes after the shooting, the body camera footage shows another officer shine a flashlight on a gun on the ground behind the fence near where Adam was shot. But it was not immediately clear, given the speed and nature of the videos, if Adam was holding the weapon leading up to the shooting.
A surveillance video from across the parking lot, though recorded from a distance, appears to show Adam make a tossing motion with his right hand behind the fence before turning to face the approaching officer, who then immediately fired the fatal shot.
An attorney for the Toledo family said that the video showed Adam did not have a gun at the moment the officer shot him.
2:30 p.m.: Documents Released by COPA Identify Officer Who Shot Adam Toledo as Eric Stillman
The city of Chicago also made public reports identifying the officer who shot the 13-year-old boy as Eric Stillman.
The Chicago Police Department's case incident report and tactical response report were both included in the materials made public by the Civilian Office of Police Accountability, identifying the officer as 34-year-old Eric Stillman, an officer since August 2015, assigned to the 10th District.
An attorney for Stillman said in a statement that the officer "was faced with a life threatening and deadly force situation" in which he was "left with no other option." Read more here.