Family members are calling for justice after the Civilian Office of Police Accountability released footage and other materials in the shooting death of 22-year-old Anthony Alvarez by a Chicago police officer.
Alvarez, who was killed March 31, was a father to a young girl, and the toddler’s mother spoke out about his death.
“It’s not fair that my daughter has to grow up without her dad,” Giselle Higuera said. “I don’t know what I will say to my daughter. How do I tell my daughter the guys who patrol the city killed your dad? I just want justice because he deserves justice.”
Family members are reeling after seeing the video of Alvarez being shot following a foot pursuit in the city’s Portage Park neighborhood.
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“My heart broke all over again into a million pieces,” Alvarez’s cousin Roxana Figueroa said. “I’m angry. I thought that with this video coming out there would be a lot more clarity. It has just brought up more questions.”
Alvarez’s father Oscar Martinez says that he wants nothing more than justice in the case.
“I want justice for my son,” he said. “What I saw yesterday broke my heart. I feel angry.”
Police fatally shot 22-year-old Alvarez in the early morning hours of March 31. At the time, police said the incident took place at around 12:18 a.m. in the 3500 block of North Laramie Avenue, where officers were "engaged in a foot pursuit."
Police said that during the pursuit, the person - later identified as Alvarez - "produced a handgun which led to a confrontation" in the 5200 block of West Eddy Street and an officer opened fire, striking him. Alvarez was taken to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center where he was later pronounced dead, officials said.
Footage from the body camera worn by the officer who fired the fatal shots, released Wednesday, shows the officer exiting his vehicle and sprinting past a home and into an alley with another officer.
The video shows the officer, identified in reports released Wednesday as Evan Solano, exit the alley and follow Alvarez as he turns again onto a residential street. About 2 minutes and 12 seconds into the footage, Solano can be heard yelling, "Hey! Drop the gun, drop the gun" as he draws closer to Alvarez and then immediately fires what sounds like five shots.
Surveillance video from outside the home where Alvarez was shot appeared to show him stumble and fall as he rounded the corner from the alley to the street. In the seconds after, the video shows Alvarez appears to have a gun in his right hand just before the officer opened fire. The gun can be seen falling out of Alvarez's hand near the steps of a home as he was shot.
COPA’s investigation into the shooting remains ongoing. The office recommended that the officer involved in the shooting be stripped of his police powers pending the outcome of that investigation.