A high school musician who was interning at a Chicago music school when he became the innocent victim of a gun battle between police and a bank robbery suspect may never regain full use of his arm, his family said Monday.
The parents of 15-year-old Rylan Wilder filed a lawsuit Monday against the surviving suspect in a Des Plaines bank robbery that sparked a police chase into Chicago and ended in a fatal gun battle between officers and a second suspect.
Wilder is believed to have been wounded by gunfire from a Des Plaines officer's weapon, but his family's lawsuit names only alleged getaway driver Maurice Murphy.
Murphy was not involved in the chase or the shootout that wounded Wilder but the suit alleges "he knew or should have been aware that committing an armed robbery would lead to a large police response which endangered the general welfare of the public at large, and could prompt further acts of violence involving innocent bystanders."
The 32-year-old suspect was arrested while running from police after a holdup at a Bank of America at 1300 E. Oakton St. in Des Plaines. A second suspect in the bank robbery, Christopher Terrell Willis, allegedly led authorities on a chase to Chicago before crashing outside a music school in Old Irving Park and engaging in a shootout that left an officer and Wilder injured. Willis was killed during the shooting and Murphy was ultimately charged with bank robbery.
Tom Wilder and Lucia Morales said they plan to file an emergency motion for a protective order seeking access to evidence from multiple police departments, including body camera footage, radio communication and video from surrounding businesses in connection with the incident.
“So far, the family has been given very little information from police about what happened to their son and why he, as an innocent bystander would be shot by a suburban police officer in the City of Chicago. They need answers," Timothy J. Cavanagh, the family’s attorney, said in a statement. "This lawsuit will allow the family to see the evidence surrounding the shooting of their son."
Wilder, who is a student at Lane Tech High School, is still recovering at Lurie Children's Hospital after he suffered gunshot wounds to the arm and abdomen. He has already gone through numerous surgeries, his family said, and is "looking at a long and painful recovery."
“No one can imagine what it’s like to see your child laying on a hospital bed," Morales said. "The amount of doctors, blood everywhere...Rylan was talking, being so brave, more concerned about others, 'Asking mom is everyone else OK? Will I be able to play guitar again?'"
Wilder is "a talented musician," attorneys said, noting that he is a guitarist and singer for a rock band that recently performed at Riot Fest in Chicago, making him the youngest person to ever play at the event.
UpBeat Music and Arts, the school where Wilder was at when he became an innocent victim in the shootout, said the teen was interning when he was hit.
"Class was session [sic] at the time, and all other students and staff were kept safe, thanks to the quick and courageous efforts of our teachers," the school wrote on its Facebook page.
The officer who was shot during the gun battle was released from the hospital and is recovering from his injuries at home, police said Sunday.
The FBI is currently investigating the bank robbery, while Des Plaines police are investigating the carjacking and the Chicago Police Department continues to investigate the shooting, officials said.