Two hours before he was fatally shot by a police officer in Waukegan, 19-year-old Marcellis Stinnette recorded a video of himself rapping and sent it to his mother.
"He musta knew he was going to die," Zharvellis Holmes, Stinnette's mother, said during an exclusive interview with NBC 5. "Tell my momma I love her. These are the words my son was saying to me before he died."
Stinnette, who his mother described as caring, honest and energetic, was killed during an incident last week that has produced clashing narratives over what exactly transpired.
Waukegan police say that Stinnette was riding in a vehicle driven by his girlfriend, Tafara Williams, 20, when that vehicle fled a traffic stop. That vehicle was later spotted by another officer.
Williams also sustained injuries in the shooting and was hospitalized.
The Waukegan Police Department on Wednesday released body camera and dashboard footage of the encounter after first showing the video to the Stinnette and Williams families.
Holmes, Stinnette's mother, said she couldn't bear to watch the video.
"I couldn’t take it," she said. "I had to go. They had to put me in another room. I screamed out. I just didn’t want to see no more. I didn’t want to see no more."
In one of the videos released, taken from the dashboard of the officer who fired the shots at the vehicle, the car is shown speeding away from the police cruiser on the night of the shooting. After a brief pursuit, the vehicle comes to a stop on the grass on a side street, then is seen reversing.
The officer is heard yelling at the driver to stop, then gunshots are heard before the footage stops.
Another video shows the officer’s body-worn camera, which was turned on after the shots were fired.
“You almost tried to run me over!” the officer is heard shouting at Williams.
As Williams backed the vehicle up, police said the officer feared for his safety.
"He wasn’t in fear of his safety. She didn’t hit him. She didn’t hit him," Holmes said. "I don’t know what he did to her. Maybe she was scared. But my son is dead because of that. He was innocent. He couldn’t move and get out of no car."
Holmes said Stinnette couldn't move because of injuries he sustained during a car crash in August.
"I would rather my son be in jail the rest of his life than be dead," she stated. "I would rather him be in prison the rest of his life than be dead. My son didn’t deserve that."
The officer who shot the couple was fired late Friday by Waukegan Police Chief Wayne Walles, who said in a brief statement that the officer, a five-year veteran of the force, had committed “multiple policy and procedure violations.”
The Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division and the FBI were also brought in to examine the case, according to Waukegan officials.
On Tuesday, Williams spoke from her hospital bed, expressing grief over losing the love of her life.
The family's attorneys have called for a criminal investigation into the fired officers' actions while Holmes and her loved ones continue to push for change locally and nationwide.
"I believe in good cops. I do," Holmes, Stinnette's mother, said. "And I'll support good cops. But when you have corrupt cops, people that aren’t doing what they’re supposed to be doing. They got to go. They got to go."