Chicago police officers said they had no choice but to shoot a teenager after shots were fired at them late Wednesday, but the victim's family said it's a case of mistaken identity.
Tykwon Davis' family admits the 17-year-old has had some problems -- he'd recently been released from juvenile jail -- but they're adamant the boy didn't point a gun at officers and say his injuries prove that.
"He didn't shoot the police. They shot him," Davis' mother, said Willette Middleton, told NBC Chicago outside John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County, where the teen was in critical condition at 6 a.m. "They shot him five times, for no reason, in the back."
Middleton said her son was running away from gunfire when he was hit.
Officers said they were conducting a traffic stop at about 11 p.m. on the 5100 block of South Wood Street, in the city's Back of the Yards neighborhood, when they saw two males shooting at each other from opposite sides of the street. The officers saw the muzzle flashes of the gun, according to Fraternal Order of Police Spokesman Pat Camden.
When the officers approached and announced themselves, one of the males turned and fired a handgun in the direction of the officers, police said. That's when they fired back.
Davis' father wasn't buying the officers' account of what happened.
"The police always say when they shoot somebody they killed, 'Oh, he pointed a gun at the police.' C'mon now. Out there in the world, how many times do we got to keep hearing this same thing over and over again: 'He pointed a gun?' said Tyrone Davis. "Only somebody that's really stupid is going to point a gun at a bunch of police officers."
A weapon was recovered at the scene, police said. The second male involved in the exchange of gunfire ran off and was not in custody as of 6 a.m.
As is standard in an officer-involved shooting, the Independent Police Review Authority was called to investigating, spokesman Larry Merritt said.
No police officers were injured.