The father of 19-year-old man who was shot by Chicago Police Saturday morning said the officer who had shot his son and his 55-year-old neighbor knew he had “messed up” after he responded to a domestic disturbance call on the West Side.
Antonio LeGrier told the Sun-Times he saw the white or Hispanic officer standing on the grass 30 feet from the bodies after he heard the gun shots in the 4700 block of W. Erie.
“F—, no, no, no. I thought he was lunging at me with the bat,” LeGrier said the officer said following the shooting that claimed the life of Quintonio LeGrier and Bettie R. Jones
Quintonio LeGrier and Jones were African-American.
“In my opinion, he knew he had messed up. It was senseless,” Antonio LeGrier, 47, said of the dark-haired officer who had fired.
“He knew he had shot, blindly, reckless into the doorway and now two people are dead because of it.”
The elder LeGrier said his son was in town for winter break. The 19-year-old was admitted in 2014 to Northern Illinois University, where he majored in electrical engineering technology, according to the university’s website.
He had graduated last year from Gwendolyn Brooks College Preparatory Academy with honors, for having a grade-point average of 3.0 or higher, according to the school’s website.
LeGrier was listed as part of a team of 46 Brooks students who ran the 2013 Chicago Marathon to raise money for clean drinking water for African children.
LeGrier’s father said his son was an exceptional kid who had some emotional problems. This past Thanksgiving, Antonio LeGrier said he took his son to Weiss Hospital where he was prescribed some medication to deal with his health issues.
The younger LeGrier, who had been in foster care since he was four, came to stay with his father on Friday. Antonio LeGrier invited his son to a family holiday gathering, but he chose not to go.
When Antonio LeGrier came back home, he noticed his son appeared to be a “little agitated.”
Then at 4:14 a.m. Saturday, the older LeGrier heard a loud banging on his lock door. He heard his son scream, “You’re not going to scare me.”
Antonio LeGrier said his son tried to bust the door open, but he kept him from breaking it down with a 2 by 4.
Soon, there was silence.
Antonio LeGrier said he then called Jones, who lived a floor below. He said he warned her, “My son is a little irate. Do not open the door unless the police arrive.”
Antonio LeGrier said Jones said she saw his son outside with a baseball bat.
When police arrived, Antonio LeGrier heard Bettie R. Jones yell, “Whoa, Whoa, Whoa!”
As Antonio LeGrier came to the third step as he made his way down, he heard the gunshots.
“I identified myself as the father and I held my hands out,” Antonio LeGrier said.
He then saw his son and Jones lying in the doorway in foyer. Antonio LeGrier said Quintonio LeGrier appeared to still be alive but Jones was not moving.
“My son had some emotional problems, Did it warrant him getting shot and killed,. I don’t believe it,” Antonio LeGrier said.
Antonio LeGrier said he has since spoken with police and the Independent Police Review Authority. Police had told him that his son was shot seven times.
Officers were responding to a call of a domestic disturbance, according to a statement from the Chicago Police Office of News Affairs.
“Upon arrival, officers were confronted by a combative subject resulting in the discharging of the officer’s weapon, fatally wounding two individuals,” the statement read.
Jones was pronounced dead at Loretto Hospital at 4:51 a.m., the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office said. LeGrier was pronounced dead at Stroger Hospital at 5:14 am.
Jones’ daughter Latesha Jones said she woke up when she heard three gunshots. She walked to the front door and saw her mother bleeding on the ground, she said.
“She wasn’t saying anything,” Latesha Jones said, who added that she could feel her mother breathing before she was taken away by paramedics.
Latesha Jones, whose family has lived in the building for a year and a half, said that police shot her mother from outside the home after she opened the door.
A woman who said she was the LeGrier’s cousin approached the crime scene tape to voice her frustration to officers.
“How I feel, as a taxpayer, it eats me up,” she said.
Chicago leaders also expressed concern over the shootings.
Cook County Commissioner Richard Boykin demanded “answers.”
“The fatal shooting of Quintonio LeGrier and Bettie Jones by police officers in my district this morning is one more example of a broken system- a system that will take more than mayoral platitudes and task forces to fix,” Boykin said in a statement.
“At this point, we are confronted with a series of unanswered and deeply troubling questions. Why did the officers on the scene need to resort to the use of their firearms to subdue a young man with a bat? Why weren’t the officers equipped with tasers so that Quintonio could be subdued without lethal force?
“How, during an officer response, did a 55-year-old mother of five come to be struck dead by bullets?”
The Rev. Marshall Hatch, pastor of New Mount Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church in West Garfield Park, said a vigil is planned at 2 p.m. Sunday at the scene of the shooting.
“The vigil is not political,” he said. But the pastor added, “All the spotlight on them [the police] and they shoot up this place?”
Daughter of 47-year-old woman shot by police says she was shot opening a door for officers.
Neighbors said Jones was shot in the neck soon after she opened the door for police.